Farmers Encouraged to Fill Out Ag Census

2017 Ag Census Under Way

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

California Ag Today recently spoke with Scot Rumburg, the Nevada State Statistician for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. He stressed the importance of the 2017 Ag Census, which has recently been mailed out to anyone who makes a $1,000 or more from any agricultural enterprise.

“USDA has mailed four million copies of the census that will cover what we suspect is about three million farms. We have an over coverage of about one million trying to find everybody, trying to turn over every rock,” Rumburg said.

The Ag Census is conducted once every five years. The census is based off of any ag commodity, from bees and honey to crops, fruit and nuts to livestock of any type. If you produce or have the potential to produce $1,000, the statistic service wants to hear from you. There are people out there planting permanent plantings that are not up and running yet, but they are still considered.

The census is one of the only ways that the USDA can collect data.

“We have to try and get agriculture across the entire U.S. We do a lot of surveys between the five-year census,” Rumburg explained. “This is the only census where we go out and find every agricultural operator in the U.S., and it provides numbers and data that we cannot get on a regular survey.”

“There are people that want many different kinds of data to provide a near complete picture of what is going on in agriculture at nearly every level. The census is all- encompassing,” he said.

Many of the paper censuses arriving to farmers will direct them to an online digital census, by using a code that is given with the census. Operators are encouraged to use the online version.

The 2017 Ag Census is a reflection on 2017; it is not a future forecast. The census asks age, ethnicity, veteran status and many other items that give more information on American farms and farmers.

All farmers and those related to farms, including beekeeping operations, are encouraged to complete the census.

“Money for conservation programs and many other areas to be distributed at the national level is based on this data. It’s important for every operation to get the funding at, a minimum, the state level. All information is private and will not be disclosed to anyone,” Rumburg said.

California Leads Nation in Floriculture Production – From the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service

California’s floriculture crop leads the nation with a value of $1.13 billion in sales, according to a new report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

In 2013, California producers increased their sales from $1.10 billion to $1.13 billion, an increase of 3 percent, giving California 26.6 percent of the total U.S. wholesale value.

California cut flower production accounts for 78.2 percent of the total cut flower wholesale value. The $327 million value was down 2.7 percent from the 2012 value of $337 million.

California leads the nation in potted flowering plant values for 2013 with a total value of $297 million, a 17 percent increase in value from $253 million in 2012. California potted flowering production accounted for 38 percent of the 15-state wholesale value.

The top cut flowers in California are lilies, daisies, roses, chrysanthemums and snapdragons. The top potted flowers are orchids, roses, poinsettias, spring bulbs and chrysanthemums. The top garden plants are vegetable varieties, pansies/violas, petunias, impatiens and marigolds.