The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is sending out their Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which measures costs and returns information. This year’s survey is focusing on hog and pig production data. Joe Parsons is the Agricultural Statistics Board Chair with NASS. He says it’s a critical area to focus on after a challenging 2020.
“These surveys will measure the production and economic health of America’s farms, ranches, and swine operations in what’s been a very challenging year. The ARMS program allows USDA to develop a balance sheet and income statement for U.S. agriculture. Farmers make decisions every day that affect their bottom line and they can make those decisions more accurately when they have more information about what exactly is going on in agriculture. With the ARMS program, we’re able to take a deep dive into a particular commodity each year. This year, we’re focused on swine operations. These data show how the structure of the hog industry is changing, so these data are important and are only collected once every several years.”
He says NASS has made an important change in the way in collects data to help keep producers safe from COVID-19.
“Questionnaires are mailed to producers, but surveys can also be completed online at www.agcounts.usda.gov. Anyone who needs help completing a survey can schedule an appointment with a USDA representative for assistance in completing the survey by phone. And we’ll send out a note to everybody who’s been selected for this survey. I would share that to protect the health and safety of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person interviews. Producers can respond online or by mail. If producers do not respond by February, trained enumerators will call to schedule a telephone interview to collect the data by phone.”
Parson is asking producers to respond to the survey as soon as possible.
“Your feedback helps USDA measure the economic health of American farms, farmers, and the national hog and pig inventory. It’s important to have an income statement and balance sheet for your operation to assess the financial health of your operation. In the same way, it’s important to have an income statement and balance sheet for U.S. agriculture, so all stakeholders have a common view of the health of U.S. agriculture. Specifically, with this year’s deep dive into the U.S hog and pig sector, stakeholder organizations supporting the industry will have the information they need to advocate to policymakers and market to consumers on behalf of producers.”
A wide range of people use the data from reports like this one.
“Farmers, extension agents, policymakers, research industry leaders, and economists are just a few who use that data. The Economic Research Service at USDA uses the information extensively to provide an in-depth look at the economic well-being of agriculture and the cost-structure of hog production, specifically. The Agricultural Resource Management Survey will have ongoing updates and reports, and they can be found at www.nass.usda.gov/go/arms.
Parsons also wants to remind producers to be on the lookout for the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on March 25th.