2002 CENSUS of Agriculture response rates are lagging, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. But NASS officials say farmers still have time to reverse that trend.

“We urge everyone who hasn't yet completed and returned their 2002 Census of Agriculture report forms to do so today,” said NASS Administrator Ron Bosecker. “Every response counts to produce quality data.

“We are now starting to intensify our data collection efforts, which require more expensive methods such as telephone calls and personal visits. Producers can help keep down the cost of the census by returning their forms by mail,” said Bosecker.

He said the NASS wants farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists from every sector of the industry to know how crucial it is that they complete and return their census forms.

For more information, or for assistance in completing your census form, visit our Website at www.nass.usda.gov/census/ or call 888-4AG STAT.