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Last day to sign up for Census of Agriculture is June 30

The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.

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DOUGLAS COUNTY – The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, 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 opportunity.

The Census of Agriculture is currently being worked on and June 30 is the last day to sign up for the 2022 Ag Census. If you have never received a census and are new to National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys, you are being asked to sign up to be counted today. You do not need to sign up if you already receive the NASS surveys. To sign up, visit www.agcounts.usda.gov/static/get-counted.html .

The sign up will end on June 30 and then in November, the ag census will be mailed out and the data collection process will begin. The response deadline has been set for Feb. 6, 2023 with data expected to be released in 2024.

2017 Douglas County profileThe last Census of Agriculture was done in 2017. Here is a look at some of the Douglas County data that was gathered.

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  • Number of farms – 960 (this is a 12% decrease from 2012)
  • Land in farms – 263,265 acres (this is a 2% decrease from 2012)
  • Average size of farm – 274 acres (this is a 12% increase from 2012) 
  • Land in farms by use – cropland (78%), pastureland (4%), woodland (7%) and other (11%)
  • Land use practices – no till (8%), reduced till (23%), intensive till (35%) and cover crop (5%)
  • Top crops in acres – soybeans for beans (82,326), corn for grain (63,660), forage (16,013), wheat for grain (10,702) and corn for silage or greenchop (3,038)
  • Livestock inventory (as of Dec. 31, 2017) – broilers and other meat-type chickens (225), cattle and calves (19,943), goats (538), hogs and pigs (1,089), horses and ponies (512), layers (1,418), pullets (265) and sheep and lambs (778). 
  • Percent of farms with interest access – 76
  • Percent of farms that farm organically – 1
  • Percent of farms that sell directly to consumers – 6
  • Percent of farms that hire farm labor – 23
  • Perfect of farms that are family farms – 96
  • Total producers – 1,522 with 1,062 males and 460 females 
  • Age of producers – younger than 35 (128), 35 to 64 (915) and 65 or older (479)

    Minnesota rankings

    Below are the 2021 Minnesota agricultural rankings (among all U.S. states)

  • Fifth in total agricultural production ($16.7 billion)
  • Fifth in crops ($8.85 billion)
  • First in sugar beets, green peas for processing
  • Second in dry beans, sweet corn for processing
  • Third in soybeans, spring wheat, sunflower, oats
  • Fourth in corn, canola
  • Seven in barley, rye, snap beans
  • Eighth in all wheat
  • Ninth in potatoes, vegetables
  • Tenth in alfalfa
  • Seventh in livestock ($7.85 billion)
  • First in turkeys raised
  • Second in hogs
  • Fifth in meat animals, mink pelts, milk goats
  • Seventh in dairy cows, mohair, honey
  • Eighth in milk
  • Ninth in cattle and calves
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects lead and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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