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Virginia participating in US agriculture census

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia will soon get a better picture of agriculture in the state.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared January as Virginia Agriculture Census Month.

The Census of Agriculture takes place every five years. It is a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them.

The last national agricultural census was in 2007. The census is based on the 2012 production year but reporting occurs from January until Feb. 4.

The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation.

Officials say federal and state leaders use the information to make policy decisions that have substantial impacts on agriculture.