Already an agricultural leader, Wisconsin now has a new accomplishment to be proud of. Wisconsin had the third highest response rate nationwide for the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
"I am pleased that 84 percent of Wisconsin farmers completed and returned their Census forms," said Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel. "Thank you to all the farmers who took the time to provide accurate information that will help decision makers make the best choices to move Wisconsin agriculture forward."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the Census of Agriculture once every five years.
The Census provides the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data including land use, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.
Information collected is used by farmers and agribusinesses to make informed decisions about the future. Agricultural organizations and government officials use the data to guide rural services and farm programs.
"For example, companies and cooperatives use data from the Census to determine locations of facilities to help farmers market their products or build new facilities so that farmers will have the machinery, chemicals and other inputs necessary to farm," said Greg Bussler, Wisconsin State Statistician. "Different commodity groups use Census data when developing marketing plans to export agriculture products overseas."
Census data will begin to be released in February 2014. All individual information collected is kept confidential. The data is used only for statistical purposes and is published in tabulated totals.
Learn more about the Wisconsin Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service at www.nass.usda.gov/wi
or the Census of Agriculture at www.agcensus.usda.gov.