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Complete the agriculture census by February 6th

The USDA census of agriculture occurs every 5 years, and it is underway now through February. The census is mean to be a complete count of farms and ranches in the United States. It informs funding allocations, research, and agriculture policy. Any grower who grew $1,000 or more of fruit, vegetables, or food animals, or who would have done so in a normal year is eligible to complete the census.

 Here are some ways that our team has used the census: 

  • Estimating the number of growers that we should be reaching, which helps us to determine whether we are truly meeting the needs of all fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota vs. just a subset of those growers
  • Using census data to help us determine research priorities. For example, we have seen the number of high tunnels climb substantially with each new ag census, which tells us that research and education about high tunnels is increasingly valuable.
  • When we seek grants to fund projects, the census helps us to justify the fact that specialty crops are worth the investment for funding agencies. While specialty crops don't cover a very substantial portion of the landscape in terms of acreage, the number of specialty crop growers has been increasing. The census also helps us to understand trends in farming, such as the fact that younger and more diverse growers are more likely to grow specialty crops.

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