NCGA Encouraging Farmers to Fill Out USDA NASS Surveys


The National Corn Growers Association is urging farmers to spend the few minutes needed to fill out and return USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Surveys. The surveys ask for crop-specific data and the results help USDA help farmers.

Steve Ebke, a Nebraska farmer and the current NCGA Risk Management Action Team Chairman, says its important that growers fill out the surveys, noting how the data is used for farm safety net programs…

“Well, they’re going to be reporting their production for their 2017 crop year.  NASS is going to use that to compile information to end up with the county yields, which are used for a number of things. 

“One of the things that we’re primarily concerned with is developing data to determine risk coverage or ARC payments for that county for the 2017 crop year.”

The number of farmers returning the survey has declined in recent years, meaning some counties have incomplete data for safety net programs…

“Well, certainly, if USDA does not get adequate responses that NASS is able to publish information you’re going to look to other sources that may not reflect what actually happened. So, we would really encourage everyone to complete those surveys as accurately as possible and turn them in on a timely basis so that USDA and FSA has the best information possible to make calculations for payments.”

He says it takes little time to complete the surveys, and that the surveys can be easily completed after harvest…

“And I know this year harvest is late in many parts of the country.  I personally received my survey about three weeks ago, and just completed harvest yesterday. So, I’m aware that it needs to be done but I didn’t have all the information that I needed to complete it, and certainly, I’ll do it now that I’ve completed harvest. 

“But, I would really encourage everyone, even though they might not be finished, to complete it…if you’re called for information to just tell them that you’re not done yet, but you will be willing to complete that survey once you’ve completed harvest.” 

Finally, Ebke reminds producers that the surveys are confidential and that your information will be protected…

“The information is aggregated within the county, individual information, confidentiality is maintained, it’s never released, that’s by federal law.  If that’s something that concerns someone it should not.  Their individual data is not going to be released in that form.

“Also, if they have any other questions, they can visit the National Corn Grower website.”

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.