We recently completed the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Like most of you, we are obligated by law to fill this out.
It seems this census has become both needlessly complex and needlessly intrusive. The sheer length is daunting. It asks 24 pages of questions. Some require a review of the farm records. Some it seems could have legal implications.
Why do they want to know about my irrigation practices, water rights and what I’ve used within 5 years (Sec 4)? Who else has to provide the government an estimated market value of his home property (Sec 31)? As a farm it might be worth one amount but as a subdivision or as a vacation/retirement home, quite another. As the farm is not for sale it is irrelevant, and any answer I give is only a guess.
Do I need an accountant, an attorney and an appraiser to fill out the ag census? Is the detailed personal information required something that can be used against me, or to market to me? Is the benefit worth the cost?
This is more census than the founders envisioned.
Grants Pass, Ore.