What Is The Census Of Agriculture & The Agricultural Resource Management Survey?

Agricultural producers should be expecting a Census of Agriculture in the mail in the near future. You may be wondering, “what is the Census of Agriculture?”, “why is it important?”, or “I did not receive a census, but I received an Agricultural Resource Management Survey, what is that?”

The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of the farms and ranches in America and the people who operate them. This census is taken every five years and it is the only source of uniform data for every county in the nation. Within this census, a “farm” is defined as any place that produced or sold, or normally would have sold $1,000 or more of an agricultural product during that census year.

The information gathered in this census will be used in future decisions regarding production practices, conservation programs, beginning farmer programs, agricultural research, transportation, marketing, and much more. By completing your census and providing the most accurate information, you will be helping to create more resources, tools, and reports. These resources will be used by companies or cooperatives to determine where agricultural facilities are needed. They are also used by legislators while they are creating farm policies and programs. If you are interested in completing the Census of Agriculture visit: http://www.agcounts.usda.gov.

If you receive an Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) you will not be receiving a census. The ARMS includes a survey of production practices and costs and costs and returns. This report, too, is important as it ensures that policy makers are basing their decisions on facts that come directly from producers. Producers are randomly selected to receive the ARMS. If you are interested in more information about this survey visit: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Ag_Resource_Management/index.php.


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