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USDA seeks farmers’ input on two surveys

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

DES MOINES (NASS) – During the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey.

The agency will survey over 5,000 operators across Iowa to determine crop acreage for 2016 and current grain supply levels.

NASS gathers the data for the June Agriculture Survey by mail, phone, and online. For the June Area Survey, a NASS representative will visit randomly selected segments of land and interview the operators of the land in that segment. Growers will provide information on crop acreage, livestock inventory, grain stocks, cash rents, and values of land and sales.

“These surveys are two of the most significant surveys NASS conducts,” said Greg Thessen, director of the NASS Upper Midwest Regional field office in Des Moines. “They provide information from growers that serve as the first clear sign of the prospective production and supply of major commodities in the United States for the 2016 crop year.”

By taking just a few minutes to participate, selected operators can help ensure the accuracy and quality of this data so that NASS reports can eliminate speculation about potential acreage and help producers make critical decisions about marketing their crops this year. The information is also used extensively by state, local, and national leaders to address agricultural related issues that may impact producers.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on May 18 highlighted two major surveys being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, urging farmers who are contacted to take the time to participate.

“These two surveys provide a lot of important information about the status of this year’s crop and also about how much grain is still being stored,” Northey said. “I know this is a very busy time with farmers trying to finish planting, get spraying done, caring for livestock and a variety of other activities, but these surveys provide valuable information and I hope the farmers contacted take the time to participate.”

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is kept strictly confidential, as required by federal law. “NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state-level and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” Thessen said. “We recognize this is a busy time for farmers, but the information they provide is essential to everyone involved in U.S. agriculture.

“I urge them to respond to these surveys and thank them for their cooperation.”

NASS will compile and analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the annual Acreage report and quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released June 30.

This survey data also contributes to NASS’s monthly Crop Production reports and the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

All reports are available on the NASS web site at www.nass.usda.gov.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Iowa Regional Field Office at (800) 772-0825.

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