Did valuable farm land in San Diego and Imperial counties go to waste during the recession years? Get ready to find out.
The 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture has been showing up in mailboxes on the county blocks since late December. Every farmer will have a census form before early January is done.
Evidence on the effectiveness of federal, state, and local agriculture policies is found in the census published by the National Agriculture Statistics Service, the NASS, every 5 years. The farmers' story is told, says Secretary Tom Vlisack. "The 2012 Census of Agriculture provides farmers with a powerful voice. The information gathered through the Census influence policy decisions that can have a tremendous impact on farms and their counties for years to come."
Work done by the farmers that will fill out the knowledge on facts and statistics the government officials and business leaders use to grow the commercial enterprise. The farmers, Vlisack said, "voice to the nation the value and importance of agriculture."
Census forms are due by February 4th.
The land use and production counts will come in the census reports that have been tabulated and published by the NASS for the last three years ending in 2 or 7. The last three reports covered the five year periods that followed the NASS taking over from the Census Bureau that finished its agriculture census work in 1996.
County supervisors can then declare a conservative estimate on the value gained in return for the crop and livestock production that lasted through the recession, or call old policies into question. Work footholds were kept on 2,548 farms in San Diego county between 2002 and 2007. Locals livelihoods depended on the government policies and the agribusiness decisions that make the agricultural work productive. The last census in 2007, before the recession, reported increases in the farm labor investment in San Diego County that added up to paying 281 million dollars for a payroll that gave 2,548 farm workers their incomes.
The county is a small farms county that produced most its agriculture products on farms smaller than 500 acres, with over 500 farms that measured only 1 to 9 acres.
Agricultural business takes a high investment in seeds an livestock, an d feed, utilities and supplies, in addition to the pay for the workers on the payroll. Production expenses, not including labor, average around $100,000 a year in the 2007 census in Imperial County where the farms are often large acre farms.
This latest five year farm episode might prove San Diegans and their eastern neighbors do not know all the answers on productivity, but know how to keep a sure future at hand. Vlisack told the American people who live in every state and every county in the country, they can know "the true story of agriculture in the United States today."
Farmers can get a policy payback for their work on completing and sending in the forms. Supervisors have an opportunity to help make average production better for the county that withstood a recession.
To read earlier telling news articles in High Times on Fridays, read
Big Bay Balloon Parade action on harbor main streets
First 5 again pays for better preschool teachers
Customs fees increased at McClellan-Palomar Airport
La Jolla adds a residential zone
Tierrasanta sports field lighting scrapped