RALEIGH -

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Farmers across the Carolinas are being encouraged to sound off as the federal government takes the temperature of food suppliers to track agriculture trends.
    
The U.S. Agriculture Department's census of farmers and ranchers around the country collects information on the number and size of farms, crops raised and farmer income.
    
Census results can affect government decisions at the state and federal level.
    
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler called the census a chance for farmers to speak up for their livelihood.
    
Farmers can fill out the census online at www.agcensus.usda.gov or return forms by mail by Feb. 4. Results will be released early next year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)