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Farm census slated for 2013

Data help determine farm bill directions. Forms due in by Feb. 4, 2013.

America's farm census is taken every five years and that time is approaching, according to Wilbert Hundl, Jr., director of the Oklahoma field office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Census forms will be mailed to all U.S. farmers in late December; farmers are asked to fill out the form and return it by Feb. 4, 2013. Hundl points out the importance of filling out the census form.

Without the information provided by past census reports, no one would know 3 million farmers and ranchers—1 percent of the U.S. population,  provide feed, fuel and fiber to the rest of us, Hundl explained. Data received from these census figures tell us U.S. agriculture is growing again. The last census explained more than 2 million farms and ranches exist on more than 922 million acres. That is nearly 4percent growth in the number of farms when compared to the 2002 farm census.

More than 2 billion bushels of soybeans, 18 million bales of cotton and $37 billion in egg and poultry sales accrued from those farms. Another interesting fact from the last census is that more than 1 million women are working on farms and ranches, a 19 percent increase since 2002.

Farmers again are asked to share information by filling out the next census form. Members of the U.S. Congress use facts and statistics from the census when making decisions affecting important farm legislation.

For more information about the Farm Census, see http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/ or call 1-800-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).

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