If you are trying to complete the Census online, you need your unique Census ID code from the mailing label of the Census form that was mailed to you. It is a series of 17 numbers and letters that appear on the first line of the label, immediately above the bars.
First, be sure you are entering the 17-digit ID code from the mailing label of the Census form you received in the mail; this is your unique Census ID code. This code is alphanumeric, and we are discovering that some of the letters and numbers may be difficult to distinguish.
Here is a helpful tip to try – the 8th digit should be a letter. If it appears to be the number eight (8) try entering the letter ‘B’, likewise, if it looks like the number zero (0), try entering the letter ‘D’. If you still receive the same error message, please call the Census Hotline at (888) 424-7828 so a Census representative may assist you with your Census ID code.
Yes, you can respond to the Census online using a convenient and secure system. Responding online saves you time, and saves taxpayer dollars for return postage.
To complete the Census online, you need your unique Census ID code. This code is on the mailing label of the Census form we mailed to you. The code is a series of 17 numbers and letters that appear on the first line of the label, immediately above the bars.
We are experiencing intermittent connection issues and are working to resolve them as soon as possible. We understand that some respondents have lost their connection or received an error screen that does not allow them to return to the information they already entered. We greatly apologize for this inconvenience and we hope to have the problems resolved very soon.
We recommend that you try to submit your Census online later or return your form in the mail.
If you would like a copy of the Census form you completed and submitted online, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your request must include your name, address, and Census ID code. A NASS representative will mail you a copy of your completed form.
Yes. United States law (Title 7, U.S. Code) requires all those who receive a Census report form to respond even if they did not operate a farm or ranch in 2012.
The February 4 Census deadline has been extended to ensure every farmer and rancher in the United States is counted. If they have not already done so, producers should complete and mail back their Census form or respond online as soon as possible. For those who do not respond by April 5, NASS will begin following up by telephone and personal visits. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential. If producers have questions about the Census; lost, or need help filling out their form, they can visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828). The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your responsibility.
The Census of Agriculture is the responsibility of every farmer and rancher, regardless of the size or type of operation. For Census purposes, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year. If you do not meet this criterion, please write this information on the front of the survey form and return it in the envelope provided. If you do not respond, we will continue to contact you by mail, phone or in person to obtain a response.
There are many benefits that come to farmers by filling out the Census of Agriculture. The Census is only conducted once every five years, and it is the only program conducted by NASS for which response is required by federal law. It is also the only program that is a complete count of EVERY farmer and rancher in the United States at the same point in time.
Not every producer participates in USDA programs. The Census counts all producers so that it provides comprehensive, consistent data that together provide a snapshot of agriculture at the national, state and county levels every five years. This information is used to shape the future of your operation, your community and your industry.
Everyone who receives a Census form in the mail must fill it out and return it – even if you do not believe you qualify as a farmer. You may be surprised to learn that a farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year. Many people who do not think of themselves as farmer actually meet the definition according to the Census. If you own horses, backyard chickens, large urban gardens, etc., you may qualify as a farmer.
If you do not qualify as a farmer, NASS will remove your name and address from the list once we receive your form in the mail or submitted online.
Make any necessary corrections to the name, address, and ZIP code directly on the front page of the Census form in the mailing label area. This will ensure NASS updates your information when we receive your form. You may also call toll-free (888) 424-7828 and ask a NASS representative to update your name and/or address.
Please write this information on the front of the Census form and return it in the envelope provided. If you do not respond, we will continue to contact you by mail, phone or in person to obtain a response.
Please ask the person operating the farm or ranch to complete the Census form. Make any necessary updates to the name and/or address directly on the front page of the Census form in the mailing label area. This will ensure NASS updates the information when we receive the completed form. You may also call toll-free (888) 424-7828 and ask a NASS representative to update the operator information for you.
If you received duplicate Census report forms for the same farming operation, you only need to complete one form. However, you need to return all of the Census report forms you received in the same envelope with the completed form. Please write “Duplicate” on the additional forms near the mail label information on the front page.
If you have already submitted your 2012 Census of Agriculture from, thank you. If you have recently received a telephone call or mailing reminding you to complete the Census this could be for several reasons: your form was incomplete; we need to verify the information on your form; or your form may have crossed in the mail with a recent mailing. It is recommended that you call toll-free (888) 424-7828 to receive assistance and learn if your form is submitted and complete.
If you received a Census form in the mail and lost it, need to request a replacement, need help completing your form, or need more information, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.
If you did not receive a Census form in the mail and want to be counted, you have until March 31 to sign up for the 2012 Census of Agriculture. You can sign up on the Census website until the March 31 deadline to receive a form in the mail. All new recipients of the Census of Agriculture must complete and mail back their forms; a Census ID code will not be included with your form to respond online. If you need help completing your form, or need more information, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.
We recognize that the timing is never perfect, however in order to provide the summarized results to the American public as quickly as possible, we ask farmers to make their best estimates, even if they have not had a chance to do their taxes. If you needed some additional time, there were follow up mailings beginning February 14th and again around March 20th. The information that we collect is strictly confidential and is not shared with or compared to information submitted to the IRS.
No, neither the USDA nor the IRS shares any information that is reported by respondents. The Census of Agriculture and Schedule F have no relation. The guide below is an attempt to show which questions on the Schedule F correspond with 2012 Census of Agriculture questions. The 2012 Census of Agriculture accepts estimates and it does not have to be identical to the Schedule F form.
NASS does not provide an option for respondents to select “don’t know” because your best estimate is always better than “don’t know.”
The Census of Agriculture, taken every five years, is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future and their responsibility.
The Census provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the Census, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture.
Census data are used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities – federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations and many others.
—Farmers and ranchers can use Census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations.
—Companies and cooperatives use the facts and figures to determine the locations of facilities that will serve agricultural producers.
—Community planners use the information to target needed services to rural residents.
—Legislators use the numbers from the Census when shaping farm policies and programs.
Report forms for the 2012 Census of Agriculture were mailed to farm and ranch operators in late December 2012 to collect data for the 2012 calendar year. Completed forms were due by February 4, 2013. Additional mailings were sent around February 14 and March 20 to farmers and ranchers who have not responded. Producers can return their forms by mail or can fill out the Census online via a secure website at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Yes. Respondents are guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and CIPSEA, Public Law 107-347) that their individual information will be kept confidential. NASS uses the information only for statistical purposes and publishes data only in tabulated totals. The report cannot be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulation. The privacy of individual Census records is also protected from disclosure through Freedom of Information Act requests.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture form and all correspondences from NASS are officially identified as from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, any telephone or in-person follow-up you receive regarding the Census will be made from a NASS representative who properly identifies himself or herself as working for USDA.
Once you fill out the Census, your personal information is protected by federal law. These laws require USDA to keep your identity and your answers completely confidential. No individual information is shared with any other federal, state or local agency. Employees are prohibited from releasing any individual farmers reported data, subject to a $250,000 fine and/or five-year imprisonment.
NASS will release Census data, in both electronic and print formats, beginning in February 2014. Detailed reports will be published for all counties, states and the nation.
As with any census, it’s impossible to have real-time data, but the Census of Agriculture shows trends over time and captures a very clear picture of U.S. agriculture at a point in time every five years. The data guide the funding of programs and decisions that impact farmers for years.
Conducted since 1840, the Census of Agriculture is the only source of comprehensive data providing valuable insight into the current situation, historical changes in U.S. agriculture and long-term trends. The Census also collects information on the agricultural industry that is not gathered elsewhere in NASS’s annual survey programs – data on areas such as agritourism, organic production, farmer demographics, specialized agricultural production, Internet access and more.
Census of Agriculture data are available through the NASS office in your state, many depository libraries, universities and other state government offices. They are also available online at www.nass.usda.gov or www.agcensus.usda.gov.For additional information on the Census of Agriculture or other NASS surveys, call the Agricultural Statistics Hotline at (800) 727-9540.
Last Modified: 04/05/2013