The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is calling on flower growers to respond soon to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The deadline to respond via paper questionnaire is June 15. Growers who weigh in online have until the end of July.
“Data from the Census of Agriculture affects every member of the floral industry, informing how local, state and national policymakers make decisions and allocate funds,” said Shawn McBurney, senior director of government relations for the Society of American Florists. “It’s important for floral industry growers to participate in the Census, so that our interests are represented and our voices are heard.”
According to the government, the questionnaire needs to be completed by everyone who received a form, including “landowners who lease land to producers, those involved in conservation programs, even those who may have received the Census and do not farm.”
“Our mission at NASS is to provide data in service to U.S. agriculture,” said Hubert Hamer, administrator of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, which manages the Census. “We extended the original Census deadline because many producers weren’t counted, and if they aren’t represented in these critical data, they risk being underserved in farm programs, disaster assistance, agricultural research, education, local policies, and business; it is imperative that we hear from everyone.”
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture or to respond online, visit agcensus.usda.gov. For questions about or assistance with filling out the Census, call (888) 424-7828.