In their 2022 Census of Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture will, for the first time, collect and publish data on farmers and producers who grow hemp for fabric, food products, and cannabidiol (CBD).
For the first time, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is including hemp data in its Census of Agriculture, a survey that is conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) (1). The most recent survey was conducted in 2017, so this will be the first year NASS will be able to include hemp data since industrial hemp became federally legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA began regulating hemp in 2021 (1).
“The 2022 Census of Agriculture is a powerful voice for American agriculture. The information gathered through the ag census influences policy decisions that will have a tremendous impact on ag producers and their communities for years to come,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (2). “I strongly encourage all farmers, no matter how large or small their operation, to promptly complete and return their ag census. This is your opportunity to share your voice, uplift the value and showcase the uniqueness of American agriculture.”
Even though US farmers are required by law to complete the survey, about 70% of the nation’s 2.2 million farms responded to the 2017 census and response rates in recent years have trended downward (1). NASS has no enforcement mechanism, but Donald Buysse, chief of the census planning branch with NASS, said, “the incentive is the idea you’re providing data as a useful tool for your community” (1).
The USDA will collect data until February 6th, 2023 and will publish the results in 2024. Farmers can fill out their 2022 census here: https://portal.agcounts.usda.gov/portal/s/