Leesburg -- The United States Department of Agriculture has sent census forms to millions of farmers and ranchers nationwide.
Most farmers should have received their census forms in the last week. The Agricultural Census is taken every five years. It asks for information on everything from production numbers for 2007, to the age of equipment, or whether the farmers hold down second jobs.
Ag officials say the census plays a key role in the development of the farm bill and federal policy. Hank Hammond with the Lee County U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency office said "very important tool that the various U.S. Government agencies use to give the United States a snapshot of U.S. Agriculture at that point in time. And they utilize that data for future programs."
The Census of Agriculture should be returned by farmers by February 4th.