Valley farmers like John Foster are part of a major AG census

COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – A major mailer is about to come out and start showing up in mailboxes. It speaks directly to farmers.

The agricultural census is about to start and it is generating important information.

John Foster is a farmer in Columbiana County. His corn field was cut on Friday when we caught up with him. It will be used to feed the animals and part of the corn will be used to make ethanol.

Next month the Agricultural Census will be sent across America and Foster’s farm will be counted.

“The GA Census is a comprehensive count of American farms and ranches and the people who operate them,” said Cheryl Turner, state statistician.

The agricultural census is carried out every five years, starting with the years that end with the digits 2 or 7. And the count is valuable for farmers. The statistics are used in the development of the Farm Bill and in other legislative and lobbying efforts.

“Life on the farm has also changed a lot, and this is a way for us to show that,” Turner said.

Last year was great for corn and soybean yields in Ohio. Foster’s operation is 70 acres, but the Ag Census defines a farm as only $1,000 or more in sales or potential sales.

“People think if they’re small they don’t matter, but they do. They absolutely do,” Turner said.

Farmers can complete the Agricultural Census by mail with a hard copy or online by February 6.

The results can be critical for Ohio farmers of small crops such as maple syrup or green beans.

“If you want to show the importance of it and possibly get some money for this product, complete your census,” Turner said.

Any farmer who wants to be sure they are on the list can contact their local FSA agricultural services agency.

Some of the new agricultural census questions, which did not exist 10 to 15 years ago, deal with rural internet and broadband.

About Marco C. Nichols

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