By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network
During his report Wednesday on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain reminded his listeners one of the most important things Louisiana farmers do is complete the Census of Agriculture.
“It’s conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service,” said Strain.
The commissioner also pointed out NASS is actually administered by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Strain is serving this year as president of that organization.
The 2017 paperwork for the 2017 Census f Agriculture should start showing up in mailboxes later this year. If you do not receive that paperwork, you can go to: agcensus.usda.gov and click on the “Make Sure You’re Counted” button.
“We’re encouraging producers to please, please fill out the paperwork because it’s used by lawmakers to analyze and understand the size, growth and value and exactly the nature of agriculture and becomes very important in policy decisions,” said Strain.
The Census of Agriculture will eventually show a complete account of all US farms, ranches and those who operate them.
“It is vital to the industry and very timely because were now working on the 2018 farm bill,” said Strain.
Strain also pointed out the Census of Agriculture is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every parish in Louisiana and every county in the rest of the country.
“It’s heavily relied on by organizations who serve the rural areas including local governments, trade associations extension educators, researchers and farmers and ranchers themselves,” according to Strain.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed more than three million farmers operated more than two million famers nationwide, sprawling over more than 914-milion acres.