Fewer answers to USDA’s questions
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.