Farmers, ranchers raise hands for national count


Every five years, the USDA conducts a census to "capture a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and those who operate them," according to a press release from the agency.

The federal agency's National Agricultural Statistics Service is currently accepting responses for this round of the census.

In 2012, New Mexico reported 24,721 farms and ranches spanning more than 43 million acres.

A questionnaire will be mailed to farmers and ranchers in December, though folks can complete the survey online at www.agcensus.usda.gov. Each respondent will need their unique 17-digit code, which can be found on the mailed questionnaire. Responses are due Feb. 5.