USDA Census of Agriculture to be conducted again in 2022


USDA Census of Agriculture to be conducted again in 2022

Mark Schleusener holds a copy of the 2017 Census of Agriculture

USDA’s Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years, meaning farmers can expect to see those surveys in the mail again in 2022.

Mark Schleusener is the Illinois State Statistician for USDA NASS. He tells Brownfield some producers may have already received a “screener” to help make sure no farmers are missed or double counted.  

“We are trying to find out from people, are they actually operating a farm or not. We use a number of different list sources that show a person might be farming and then we contact them.”

He says there are not many changes to survey content this year but they have re-worded some of the questions for accuracy.

“It can be really hard to write one question that ten people will interpret exactly the same way. So, we do testing on our question phrasing to be sure we are getting consistent interpretation by the people filling out our form.”  

Farmers can expect to receive the survey this fall to help formulate updated census data referenced for things like legislation.

“Maybe they are deciding a certain piece of law will effect farms with sales under $1 million or under $500,000 and want to know how many farms that will impact. The Census of Agriculture provides answers to questions like that.”

Schleusener encourages all farmers to fill out the survey, reminding them that individual surveys are confidential by law and data is only published as totals.

Brownfield interviewed Schleusener at the Illinois Specialty Crop Conference in Springfield.