Ag Census Deadline Is Feb. 6

2022 Census of Agriculture is Second Census to Include Young Producer Data

Susan Payne
By  Susan Payne , DTN Social Media and Young Farmer Editor
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Mailed in December, USDA's 2022 Census of Agriculture is nearing its Feb. 6 deadline. (DTN photo by Pam Smith)

OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA's 2022 Census of Agriculture, collected every five years, is nearing its deadline on Feb. 6.

Mailed in December from USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), the Ag Census collects responses from every farmer, rancher and producer in the United States and Puerto Rico down to the county level.

Farm operations of all sizes that produced or sold $1,000 or more in agricultural products in 2022 are included in the census.

In 2017, the Ag Census published data on new producers for the first time, according to Tony Dorn, the environmental, economics and demographics branch chief at NASS.

Now, five years later, young producers will have another chance to respond in an effort to support historical data related to the group and share their voice. Young producers in the Census of Agriculture are defined as producers of any operation age 35 or younger.

"This is a relatively new data series published with the census that will provide a snapshot of the year 2022 for new and beginning producers," Dorn said.

In 2017, the Ag Census found that nearly one in 10 U.S. producers are ages 35 or younger, a total number of 321,261, accounting for a little over 10% of the country's 3.4 million producers.

How those numbers will change in 2022 is directly tied to accurate responses received by NASS.

"USDA, policymakers and the public can get an idea of what's happening with new and beginning producers, what's evolving and relate that to production practices and other things in the census. Every report is important to ensure we get an accurate counting, especially considering that it's published down to the county level. It's a local survey with local results," Dorn said.

Farm organizations, Extension educators, researchers, journalists, federal, state and local officials use the Ag Census information to understand American agriculture.

Young producer-operated farms accounted for 17% of agriculture sales and 13% of farmland across the United States in 2017. Most young producers hail from Pennsylvania at 14%; North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, South Dakota, New York and Ohio at 12%; and Vermont, Kentucky, Connecticut, Maryland, Alaska and Maine at 11%.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, had 2,432 young producers on its own, following LaGrange County, Indiana, in second with 1,117 producers.

In 2017, the Census of Agriculture also collected data on farm decision-making for young producers and found that most (83%) were involved in day-to-day decisions and land-use/crop decisions (71%).

Data from the 2017 Ag Census can be found here:….

New to that year are tables 67-70, which define young producers and the years they began farming.

If you have not received an Ag Census form through the mail, go to for information on how to respond and make contact.

This year, NASS will follow the same publishing schedule and will release the final report in 2024.

Susan Payne can be reached at

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Susan Payne

Susan Payne
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