Farmers are participating in two surveys being conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
For the County Agricultural Production Survey, NASS is contacting farmers in 42 states to compile yield data at the county level. To collect information for the Crop Production and Stocks Data survey, NASS is contacting farmers and grain facility operators throughout the country about the amount of grain and oil-seed stocks being stored.
NASS says participation is vital and asks farmers to provide their information.
Country Agricultural Production Survey
Erik Gerlach, South Dakota state statistician, said the USDA’s Farm Service Agency uses the data in administering producer programs such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and in determining disaster assistance program calculations.
“County-level yields have a direct impact on farmers around the state,” Gerlach said. “NASS cannot publish a county yield unless it receives enough reports from producers in that county to make a statistically defensible estimate. So, it is very important that producers respond to this survey. In 2017, NASS was unable to publish several large-producing counties due to an insufficient number of responses.”
As required by federal law, all responses are completely confidential.
“We safeguard the privacy of all respondents, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” Gerlach said. “Individual responses are also exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.”
Many producers respond by mail or on-line via NASS’s secure reporting website. NASS will also contact producers by phone or in person, particularly in low-response counties, to ensure producers their opportunity to represent South Dakota agriculture. County-level data for corn, sorghum, soybeans and sunflowers will be available in February 2019, and hay in April 2019.
Crop Production and Stocks Data Survey
NASS will contact farmers nationwide to gather final year-end crop production numbers and the amount of grain and oilseeds stored on their farms. At the same time, NASS will survey grain facility operators to determine year-end off-farm grain and oilseed stocks.
“These surveys are the largest and most important year-end surveys conducted by NASS,” South Dakota state statistician Erik Gerlach said. “They are the basis for the official USDA estimates of production and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the United States and grain and oilseed supplies. Data from the survey will benefit farmers and processors by providing timely and accurate information to help them make crucial year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing and marketing season.”
Responses to the survey will be used to calculate county-level yields, which have a direct impact on farmers around the state. USDA’s Farm Service Agency uses the data in administering producer programs such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and in determining disaster assistance program calculations.
All responses are confidential.
Survey results will be published in several reports, including the Crop Production Annual Summary and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released Jan. 11. These and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov. For more information call the NASS South Dakota field office at 800-582-6443.