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Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 8:50am

Georgia Farmers Urged To Complete Census

Georgia farmers have been flooded with paperwork and a deadline.

Federal agriculture officials are counting farmers nationwide and asking about their products, employees, incomes and expenses.

The agricultural census is conducted every five years.

The data helps federal officials tailor programs and their dollars to the states.

Ralph Paige, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, strongly encourages Georgia farmers to be counted.

“It benefits the farmer if you’re counted because the resources that would come to the state of Georgia from USDA and various programs are based on the number of farmers and the geographical area that they live in," says Paige.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture census also provides farming businesses and policy-makers with an up-to-date snapshot of American agriculture.

Shirley Daughtry of Heritage Organic Farms in Southeast Georgia’s Effingham County says many farmers are too busy for a survey.

“We farmers are so busy that we don’t have time to sign our names much less make up one more form," says Daughtry. "We’re asked to do a lot of paperwork.”

Many companies use the data to get a better picture of agricultural markets.

Farmers can respond by mail or online through the end of May.

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