Wallaces Farmer

USDA to survey Iowa farmers' planting intentions for 2016

During first two weeks of March, a sampling of farmers in Iowa will get a survey from USDA

February 25, 2016

3 Min Read

During the first two weeks of March, selected farmers in Iowa will receive the

March 1 Agricultural Survey from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. NASS is taking a comprehensive look at planting intentions for the upcoming 2016 growing season, as well as collecting information about grains and oilseeds stored on farms.


“Each year, the agriculture industry eagerly awaits USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, which provides USDA’s first survey-based estimates of farmers’ planting intentions for the year,” says NASS’ Upper Midwest Regional Director Greg Thessen. “The March Agricultural Survey provides the factual data that underpins these projections, making it one of the most important surveys we conduct each year.” 

One of the most important surveys USDA conducts each year
NASS will mail the survey in late February, asking producers to provide information

about the types of crops they intend to plant in 2016, how many acres they intend to plant, and the amount of grain and oilseeds they store on their farms. NASS encourages producers to respond online or by mail. Those producers who do not respond by the deadline may be contacted for a telephone or personal interview. 

NASS will compile and analyze the survey information and publish the results in the

annual Prospective Plantings report and quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on March 31, 2016.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential, as

required by federal law. “NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or farmer can be identified,” he says. These and all NASS reports are available online at nass.usda.gov. For more information call the NASS Iowa field office at 800-772-0825.

USDA is also surveying farmers about farmland rental rates 
In February, USDA began contacting Iowa farmers to gather land rental rate information for the Cash Rents and Leases survey. The results of this survey will serve as a valuable decision-making tool for farmers, ranchers and other landowners and will help shape negotiations for 2017 rental agreements. NASS will publish average cash rental rates at national, state and county levels for non-irrigated cropland, irrigated cropland, and pastureland on September 9, 2016.


“This brief survey is our only source of county cash rental rates,” points out Thessen. “Since the last rental rate survey was conducted two years ago, it is critical for producers to respond and provide updated information for their area. By responding, farmers help provide the most up-to-date information that will be used by the Farm Service Agency and other USDA agencies to help develop and administer federal farm programs that they rely on.”

Over 13,000 Iowa farmers have been sent rental rate survey form
More than 13,000 Iowa farmers have already been sent the land rental rate survey form in the mail in February. In addition to sending your survey response back via U.S. mail, NASS also offers the option of responding online via a secure Internet connection. In April, NASS representatives will begin calling and visiting farm operators who have not yet responded.

“We guarantee confidentiality of all individual information, regardless of the response method participants choose, as required by federal law,” Thessen says. “NASS will combine your responses with your fellow producers nationwide, providing the most accurate and comprehensive estimate of average rent and lease rates.” For more information about the Cash Rents and Leases survey, call the NASS Iowa field office at 800-772-0825. All NASS reports and data are available online at nass.usda.gov.  

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