Fewer an­swers to USDA’s ques­tions

Successful Farming - - FIRST CUT -

USDAthe will be­gin rolling out

re­sults of its twicea-decade Cen­sus of Agri­cul­ture next Fe­bru­ary 21 with reams of ma­te­rial to be re­leased through the spring. The cen­sus is “the only source of uni­form, com­pre­hen­sive, and im­par­tial agri­cul­tural data for ev­ery county in the na­tion,” ac­cord­ing to USDA, but it is built on a smaller database.

The re­sponse rate for the 2017 Cen­sus was 71.5%, down 3% from 74.5% in 2012, which was down from 78.2% for the 2007 cen­sus.

The Cen­sus pro­vides a wealth of data about the farm sec­tor, in­clud­ing the age, gen­der, and race of farm­ers; farm size; and what farm­ers grow. The slic­ing and dic­ing in­cludes a list of the top con­gres­sional dis­tricts in terms of farm out­put. The 65,000square-mile Third Dis­trict of Ne­braska, which cov­ers three fourths of the state, led the na­tion in the 2012 Cen­sus with 35,850 farms and pro­duc­tion worth $17.7 bil­lion.

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