Coming Soon: Census of Agriculture Results

The results will soon be available to the public: The findings of USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture.

We’re looking for a good product to be available on the 13th of February.

That from Joe Prusacki of the Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Now some might wonder why a census where data was collected in late 2022 and early 2023 is being released in early 2024.

It takes all of ’23 to compile data from between two and 3 million farmers. So it takes a while.

And in fact, some people not familiar with how the Census of Agriculture works seem to have plenty of questions about a survey that has plenty of questions in it.

I think the biggest question is, why do you mail out or try to collect data from three plus million farmers? And where is the farm count United States is about 2 million. Why? Well, because farmers are in and out in and out so you don’t necessarily catch. That’s one. The other thing is people ask us, Why do you do it? Trust me, it’s not cheap to do a census of agriculture and why do you do it? It’s to get that benchmark that snapshot of what’s going on United States.

The census every five years does create that snapshot in time regarding agriculture, essential, according to Prusacki.

My first Census of Agriculture with USDA NASS was in 1997. Things have changed dramatically in the world of agriculture since then, and in that sense, as you can track it through and see what’s going on county by county to see what’s happening, and there’s a lot of people other than “ag people” that look at the census.

He uses the following example to illustrate the point.

Somebody says, “Oh, hey, I’m not a farmer.” But you know, it does impact you because the census has data in there that industry folks they’ll look at and they’ll say, You know what, based on these information, it looks like maybe there’s a bunch of small farms coming into this particular area because particular county maybe we’ll put a story in here. Well, what does that do? It brings jobs and brings tax money to the local area. So it does help the

Timing of the release of the 2022 Census of Agriculture results coincides with a major USDA event that same week

(The) 100th year of the Ag Outlook Forum. We have two sessions related to the Census going on. So we will be able to share the information with the broader agricultural community at that event on specific topics.

Rod Bain reporting for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC.