The United States Department of Agriculture is saying that there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the Census of agriculture that was distributed to farmers and ranchers approximately one month ago.
They are saying that 25% of the questionnaires have already been returned, and they are doing their best to deal with all the questions have arisen.
The questionnaires are due to be completed by February 4, and may be submitted either online or by regular mail.
It will be interesting to see how the USDA uses this information, and whether the final basis of assessment is one of real benefit to those who work in agriculture.
Full report click here
Anyone with questions about the census please click here
Interesting article on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website, explaining why only sixteen states are able to apply for federal aid with regard to national organic certification programs, and why thirty four other states are not able to.
The federal aid comes via the Agricultural Management Assistance program (AMA) . This has more to do with the fiscal cliff than with any debate about organic farming, or any debate about federal aid, but does raise huge concerns about the future of organic farming for a simple reason.
Organic farming depends on trust and credibility to justify higher prices on produce to consumers. Key to that trust is certification of organic produce. Anyone can pretty much use the word organic to mean what tehy want.
For proper organic farming, it is essential to have national standards of certification, that everyone can judge produce and farming accordingly. This is now less likely……
Read full article here
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website here
Agricultural Management Assistance program here