Census of Agriculture: Big Brother for Farmers?


By: Nate Birt, Farm Journal Social Media and News Editor

via AgWeb - January 15, 2013


The U.S. Census of Agriculture due to the government early next month is worrisome to a number of U.S. Farm Report viewers. Additional comments left via Farm Journalís "I Studied Agriculture and I Have A Job" reveal similar sentiments.


Comments stem from a recent commentary expressing concerns about the survey by U.S. Farm Report host John Phipps.


"Total agreement about the census taking," retired farmer Tom Eakin writes. "These people already have this information, at your local FSA office. Acres are certified, wheat, barley, CRP. One government entity realizes this, the IRS! Perhaps this is a place to help balance the budget, do away with this bureaucracy, if they can't interpret available information, why have them?"


Charlie Fox of Wheeling, W.V., agrees.


"Three cheers to you, John! " Fox writes. "Enabling USDA gains nothing but a continuation of poor performance and perpetuation of bureaucratic inefficiency."


Whatís more, the form requests way too much information, writes Matthew Boucher via Facebook.


"While the gov needs to know the acre figures for crops and such, there is so much on that form that they do not need to know anything about," Boucher writes.


Another commenter on Facebook, Annie Lohman, characterizes the census as an "intrusive exercise."


"Most of the crops we grow end up lumped into the proverbial "other" category and the USDA rarely- if ever- reports on the crops we grow," Lohman writes. "BTW, last I looked if you don't have seed, you don't plant. So why the government gives seed growers hardly any credit is a mystery to me!"


At the same time, itís important for people in agriculture to press their legislators for action if there are problems with the way agriculture is handled, writes Ken Wagoner...