The deadline for U.S. farmers to turn in agricultural census forms has been extended until June 1, according to Carol House, National Agricultural Statistics Service deputy administrator. She says the extension from Feb. 4 is because a large number of the census forms have not been returned.

“We are sending another form out there again with encouragement to fill it out,” House said. “We’ll give a little bit of time and then we’re going to start calling people. Of course, calling costs money, taxpayer dollars, so hopefully producers will fill it out before we have to make a phone call.”

Responding to the census — conducted every five years — is required by law and the privacy of answers given is protected.

A producer who is not filling it out because he has a question, he’s not sure how to go about it, he’s not sure he’s required to fill it out, should call NASS, House says. “We’ve received 130,000 calls since census forms were sent out.”

A toll-free help line is available at (888) 424-7828. The census also can be submitted online at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov.