Census of Agriculture Pt 1
MERTZ ... "The census is the most comprehensive, uniform, data set measuring U.S. agriculture that we have.
We have uniform data across each county and each state that's in the U.S."
The USDA's Chris Mertz says data collectors are gathering a lot of different information ...
MERTZ ... "Land use, acreage production, sales, different land practices. The demographics are very important, food marketing practices that are involved in federal insurance, crop insurance and government programs. So, there's a lot of wide range of information that's unique."
Mertz says it allows the USDA to determine what's important in an ever-changing ag culture ...
MERTZ ... "One thing that's interesting to me, and is kind of topical, is investments in infrastructure. We've been measuring for some time about computer usage in the country and internet usage, and now we've been asking about high-speed internet. So, I like to thing that some of that data shows where is the high-speed internet so we can make that investment in our infrastructure in the U.S."
Mertz says of the 3-million Census questionnaires sent out in the fall, only 42 percent have been returned. He says Census data have and will continue to influence important decisions for American Agriculture.
Listen tomorrow and find out more about this important data and how it's used.