Iowa’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their industry and communities by taking part in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them.
The 2022 Census of Agriculture will be mailed to producers in phases, starting with an invitation to respond online in late-November followed by paper questionnaires in December. Farm operations of all sizes, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 are included in the ag census.
The Census remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation and looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, income and expenditures, production practices, as well as other topics.
Census information provides a collective voice for farmers and helps shape the future of the industry. Farm and commodity organizations, extension educators, agribusinesses, legislators at all levels of government, news media, and many others routinely use data from the ag census for a wide variety of purposes. They use the information to:
- Promote the agricultural industry and track trends.
- Formulate, evaluate, and propose policies and programs that help farmers.
- Identify services and determine where to locate facilities needed in rural communities.
- Allocate local and national funds for farm programs (including extension service projects, conservation programs, farm loan programs, beginning farmer programs, research, and land grant university funding).
Producers can complete their Census form online via a secure website at agcounts.usda.gov, or return their form by mail. Online reporting is fast and secure with time-saving features including pre-filled information from previously completed NASS surveys, drop menus, automatic calculations and the skipping of questions that do not apply to their operation. Federal law requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential. For more information about the 2022 Census of Agriculture, visit nass.usda.gov/AgCensus or call (800) 727-9540.