( USDA )

Now is the time to respond to both the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties and the 2019 Organic Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

Both surveys are underway and the agency is asking those who receive questionnaires to respond quickly and “online if possible.”

“Horticulture and organic agriculture are important segments of U.S. agriculture and our economy,” USDA National Agricultural Statistics Administrator Hubert Hamer said in the release. “When producers respond to these surveys they are helping associations, businesses, and policymakers advocate for their industry, influence program decisions, and educate others about the importance of these parts of agriculture.”

The agency said the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties is conducted once every five years to provide a comprehensive picture of U.S. horticulture. This year, the survey was mailed to 40,000 growers who reported horticultural activity in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. With unique survey codes, growers can either send in the completed survey by mail or respond through an online portal, according to the release.

The deadline for both mailed and online responses is Feb. 5. Results, including production and sales data for U.S. floriculture, nursery, specialty crop industries, and greenhouse food crops, will be available in December 2020, according to the agency. For more information, visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/hort.

The last Census of Horticulture, taken in 2014, revealed 23,221 operations with $13.8 billion in sales.


Organic numbers

Meanwhile, the USDA said the 2019 Organic Survey asks more than 22,000 U.S. producers involved in certified or transitioning organic farming for information about their 2019 production, marketing practices, income, and expenses. The agency said it mailed the survey to about 22,000 U.S. growers who self-reported organic farming in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The deadline for the mailed or online responses is Jan. 10, and the results will be revealed in October 2020, according the agency.

For more information, visit www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Organic_Production.
In the last Organic Survey related to the Census of Agriculture, 14,093 certified or exempt farms reported $5.5 billion in sales in 2014. 

The agency said producers who receive the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties or the Organic Survey are required to respond by federal law, as the surveys are part of the Census of Agriculture program. Federal law also requires that the agency keep all individual information confidential. 

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