United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) concluded data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture in July. The Census was mailed to more than 59,000 known and potential farms and ranches across Nebraska. Nebraska finished with a 66.2 percent response rate.
“We thank each and every producer who took the time to respond to the Census,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “The Census of Agriculture is an important part of U.S. history that remains as relevant today as it was in 1840 when it was first conducted. The Census gives voice and opportunity to all farmers and ranchers in America to tell the changing story of agriculture over the years and identify emerging trends and needs.” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also offered his thanks to producers for taking part in the Census, via a video message that can be viewed at www.nass.usda.gov.
Nebraska’s 66.2 percent response rate for this Census is below the 72.9 percent response in 2012. “We modernized elements of our data collection for this Census to make it easier for those filling out questionnaires,” said Hamer. “However, it is unrealistic to think that everyone will respond to any survey, regardless of improvements and benefits. To account for certain levels of non-response, we use accepted statistical methods and practices in our data analyses.”
Data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture is scheduled to be released starting on February 21, 2019 and continue on a staggered schedule through the spring of 2019. The results of the Census will be available in aggregate form, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by Federal law. All Census data products will be available on NASS’ recently merged NASS/Ag Census website at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.
The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every State and county in the nation. As such, the data are widely-used by local and national decision-makers to help shape agricultural research and education programs, inform farm programs, boost rural infrastructure, determine disaster relief needs, and more.