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surveys

A New Year with New Data

This time of year, I can’t help but think about cycles – everything coming full circle – from agriculture (planting through harvest) to the holiday season marking the end of one year and the start of the next. Here at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we are at an exciting time in the five-year cycle of the Census of Agriculture program, which includes the Census of Agriculture itself – NASS’ largest data collection effort that is sent to every known farm and ranch in the country – as well as several smaller but important special studies. Not only are we just nine weeks away from releasing the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture on February 21, we are also about to conduct two special studies: the Census of Aquaculture and the Irrigation and Water Management Survey.

NASS Gathers Feedback from Farmers and Ranchers about Their Survey Experience

Data collected from farmers and ranchers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) allows for timely and accurate statistics that help our customers – U.S. farmers and ranchers, among many others – make informed business decisions. These vital data also affect farm policy, influence trade and the market, as well as academic and historical research. Producing these statistics depends on a positive survey experience for our customers.

APHIS and Partners Sponsor Annual Honey Bee Survey Directed at Monitoring Bee Health

About one mouthful in three in our diets directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. That makes bees critically valuable to humans’ existence. For this reason the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) documents issues affecting honey bee health through the annual National Honey Bee Survey (NHBS). The survey collects data on bee health to understand long term trends, factors that drive bee health, ways to safeguard bee populations in the United States. Bee pollination is responsible for $15+ billion in added crop value -- particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. We need the economic benefits, as well as the nourishment, that bees provide to us through their role in pollination.

NASS Surveys Provide U.S. Agricultural Supply Data for Trade

With May being World Trade Month, it is worth noting that the source of data to determine the U.S. supply of crops and livestock is America’s farmers and ranchers who fill out surveys from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These statistics feed directly into the monthly World Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE), which shows how much food, feed, fuel, and fiber are available or expected to be available around the world throughout the year. These data are available free of charge to anyone who wants them and are widely regarded as the gold standard.

SNAP Households Acquire About as Many Calories as Non-SNAP Households, But Spend Less

Households can have similar food needs, but often have different budgets with which to meet them. These budget differences may help explain observed differences in food spending and diet quality. A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service digs into this issue using household level data from USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) to estimate the number of calories acquired and the amount of money spent to get them.