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At the end of the year, some producers may be feeling survey fatigue from responding to numerous requests from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) for data about their farm operations. All of the survey responses received during the year are important, as the resulting statistics serve farmers directly in many ways. NASS’s end-of year surveys, for example, are critical for USDA to administer farm disaster and insurance programs, which are as important as ever with recent extreme weather conditions. And this is a great asset for farmers who can in turn use this information to make sound decisions for their businesses.
NASS is currently surveying more than 73,000 farmers and ranchers – primarily corn, soybeans, sorghum, rice, and cotton growers. In addition to row crop growers, NASS is also surveying hog producers about their fall pig crop, farrowing intentions for the next six months and current inventory. The information gathered from these surveys is used by livestock producers, grain dealers, policy makers and farmers themselves to make the best business decisions.
Participation in the survey is crucial and producers should be certain not to underestimate the importance of their participation. Responses to this survey will be included in the County Agricultural Production Survey data and used in calculating county yields, which USDA uses to evaluate and administer vital farm disaster and insurance programs.
With such widespread impact of these reports, I hope that all farmers and ranchers who receive a survey take time to respond. It is an easy way to assure and get access to timely, accurate and reliable data that serves U.S. agriculture.