TRENTON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reminds New Jersey farmers and ranchers that the deadline to respond to the 2022 Census of Agriculture is next week, Feb. 6. Producers can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail.
Last month, NASS mailed the Census of Agriculture questionnaires to every known ag producer in New Jersey, the U.S., and Puerto Rico. Conducted just once every five years, the ag census provides a complete account of the nation’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Responding to the Census of Agriculture is required by federal law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113. The same law requires NASS to keep all individual operations’ information confidential, use the data for statistical purposes only, and publish the data in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.
“It is important to show the economic and people value of agriculture to New Jersey and your county,” according to Bruce Eklund, state statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New Jersey Field Office. All receiving a census need to return it. See: USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service – Census of Agriculture – Frequently Asked Questions 2022 for frequently asked questions. “Advocates for agriculture will use your census data often for these next five years,” added Eklund.
The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state, county, and U.S. territory. U.S. farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products in 2022.
Producers who have submitted their completed ag censuses may disregard any additional ag census letters and forms. Whether producers responded online or by mail, they can verify their reports were received by going to agcounts.usda.gov, entering their survey codes, and checking the submitted date under the status column of the My Surveys tab. The status update is not always immediate. The update can take a few minutes up to several days, especially if the questionnaire was returned by mail.
NASS will release the results of the ag census in 2024. Visit nass.usda.gov/agcensus, for more information.
–Bruce Eklund, USDA, NASS