Not Too Late to be Counted in 2012 Ag Census

USDA says farmers and ranchers across the country are making sure their voices are heard and their farms are represented in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. USDA says 1.4-million Census forms have been returned. While the official Census deadline has passed - USDA says it's not too late for producers to speak up for their communities, their industry and their future by completing and sending in their Census form. USDA reminds producers that their farm is important and needs to be counted. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says information from the Census of Agriculture helps USDA monitor trends and better understand the needs in agriculture. He adds that providing industry stakeholders, community leaders, lawmakers and individual farm operators with the most comprehensive and accurate U.S. agricultural reports will help ensure the tools are available to make informed, sound decisions to protect the future of American agriculture.

The Census of Agriculture is conducted by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service every five years. It provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture - looking at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect how farmers and ranchers do business. Vilsack says the participation of every producer is needed to ensure the ag industry and rural America receives the representation that will provide the most benefit and value.

Those farmers and ranchers who have not already responded to the Census will receive another copy of the form in the mail. Farmers and ranchers can return completed forms by mail or online by visiting a secure Census website at www dot agcensus dot usda dot gov (www.agcensus.usda.gov). Federal law does require all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

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