Daily staff report
Farmers are being asked to take part in a national census suited is just for them.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared January Virginia Agriculture Census Month, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Reporting for the 2012 Ag Census -- which is done every five years -- takes place between January and Feb. 4, according to the release. It counts all of the farms and ranches in the U.S. and those who work on them.
Figures gathered are used to help policymakers reach decisions that can impact farmers, rural development and small businesses, according to the release.
"In addition, farmers and ag-related businesses can use the information to make decisions about their own business development opportunities," it states. "By responding to the Census, farmers help themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture."
New to this year's census is a count of acres using conservation tillage, acres planted with cover crops and those that are in conservation easements, according to the release.
For more information, call 888-4AG-STAT, or visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.