At the first of March, National Ag Statistics Service in Washington will be sending out surveys to a random sample of agricultural producers across the country. Tim Jones, Agricultural Program Specialist with the Farm Service Agency, explains the purpose of the surveys:
“NASS will be issuing some surveys, and hopefully producers will reply to this survey request. More and more government and agriculture leaders use producer-provided information to make sound program decisions, and in turn these program decisions affect producers’ financial situation. So, hopefully, hopefully the producers will reply to the request.”
Jones says that there are many uses for the data received from these surveys:
“Several of the FSA programs now use NASS data to help establish payment levels. One of these programs that I’m very familiar with is the Conservation Reserve Program. Under CRP, the annual rental payments that producers receive are calculated based on soil rental rates which are derived from these producer generated information.”
The surveys may ask questions that would give a producer pause as to whether to provide such sensitive info. Jones says, not to worry:
“I don’t think there should be any reason at all that the farmers should be hesitant to give the information at all, they will not be indentified individually. Again, it will be just used by NASS in trying to come up with an accurate reflection of exactly what the financial situation is out there. And again, in turn, hopefully the most current and up-to-date information can be used to make sure that our programs accurately reflect what’s going on out there.”
Surveys should begin showing up in producers’ mailboxes around March 1st.
Tim Jones, Agricultural Program Specialist with the Farm Service Agency