Why should grain producers respond to NASS surveys?

From the National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over the next couple of months, NASS will be contacting grain producers in order to determine county-level yield estimates, which will have an impact on farm programs. Here are just some of the reasons why it is important that farmers accurately fill out those surveys.

As a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts surveys each year. These questionnaires ask farmers, ranchers and others in the agricultural industry for a variety of data. Every five years, NASS also conducts the Census of Agriculture, a complete accounting of farms, ranches and agricultural production in the country. The results of these surveys provide many benefits to farmers and ranchers. Some of the data are Principal Federal Economic Indicators.

Farmers, ranchers, policymakers, community planners, agribusinesses, researchers, USDA and other federaland state government agencies use aggregated NASS data from farmers and ranchers for planning, market assessment, decision making, research and many other purposes.

High-quality statistical information is essential for the smooth operation of federal farm programs, as well as for planning and administering federal and state programs in areas such as consumer protection, conservation and environmental quality, trade, education and recreation.

NASS information contributes to a stable economic climate and reduces the uncertainties and risks in producing, marketing and distributing commodities. Objective, timely and equally available to all users, NASS data help level the playing field.

NASS provides the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency with important statistics that they then use to serve farmers and ranchers. Individual responses to NASS surveys are kept confidential. Data are provided in aggregate form so that no individual operation or operator can be identified.

Many farm programs depend on farmer-reported NASS state and county data, including:

• County loan rates for wheat, feed grains and oilseeds;

• Regional loan rates for pulses;

• Loan repayment rates;

• Program parameters for ARC and PLC;

• Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP);

• Livestock disaster assistance programs;

• Dairy programs;

• Conservation Reserve Program (CRP);

• County committee elections;

• Beginning Farmer Ownership Loan eligibility;

• Guaranteed loan limit adjustments;

• Production loss calculations;

• Funding targets and allocations;

• Farm business planning; and

• Farm appraisals.

The Risk Management Agency uses NASS data to provide federal crop insurance to America’s farmers and ranchers. These data are used to establish yields and to aid in the establishment of price elections for various crops. Those programs include:

• Area Risk Protection Insurance Plan;

• Actual Revenue History (ARH) pilot program;

• Establishment of transitional yields; and

• Establishment of price elections on nonprogram crops.

For more information about NASS, visit their website at nass.usda.gov.