Last week, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) began collecting data for its first ever Hemp Acreage and Production Survey. Hemp is a commodity that can be used for numerous industrial and horticultural purposes, including fabric, food products, cosmetics, and more. Yet, there is no comprehensive, national production data for it. That’s where NASS comes in.
NASS conducts hundreds of surveys each year as well as the Census of Agriculture, which is done every five years. As a result, the agency maintains the most comprehensive list of agricultural operations in the United States. NASS has extensive experience in not only using the list to conduct studies of various agricultural populations but also doing so securely and confidentially.
For the hemp survey, NASS did more than just use its own comprehensive list of operations. The agency also gathered information from partners at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Risk Management Agency, and Farm Service Agency as well as state departments of agriculture and other sources. Any records provided by these sources that were not found on the NASS list were included in the survey.
To design the survey itself, NASS conducted cognitive interviews with hemp growers to determine correct terminology and understanding of questions.
The result of this hard work will be survey data that set the benchmark for hemp acreage and production, and provide needed data to regulatory agencies, producers, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities. NASS is encouraging producers to respond online at agcounts.usda.gov.