Farmers may want to make sure their mailbox is in good shape because they will be getting quite a bit of important mail from the National Ag Statistics Service over the next few weeks. NASS has several surveys in process that will give both farmers and the USDA important data. NASS administrator Hubert Hamer says that the County Agricultural Production Survey is in the field now and that this fall the agency will be survey county row crop estimates.
Unlike a lot of the junk mail you get, the surveys are important and require your attention. Hamer says good participation is needed to get accurate county level data, “We need 30 reports or 25% of the harvested acres in a county in order to publish the county data.”
Hamer noted these reports are not only important to federal farm agencies, but provide useful data for producers, “A farmer can use this data to compare what is happening on his farm with similar farms in the county, the state, or the nation.” The new data will also have an impact on Farm Bill programs like ARC and PLC, “It is really about having the right and accurate information to facilitate those payments to producers.” He said having the NASS data will give producers and FSA a benchmark on what is happening in a specific county.