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NASS collecting data for annual surveyNASS collecting data for annual survey

Survey results influence national and state policy making.

May 31, 2016

2 Min Read

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is beginning to collect data from more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers for its annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The survey looks at all aspects of U.S. agricultural production, including farm financial well-being, chemical usage, and various farm characteristics. In 2016, the survey will take a closer look at corn production and both organic and conventional milk production in the United States.


ARMS is a joint effort of NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service. The information the agencies obtain through the survey influences national and state policy-making decisions. In addition, ARMS data are used to calculate the farm sector portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The survey also collects detailed information on production practices, costs, and returns for 13 principal commodities on a rotating basis. The last time ARMS focused on corn and dairy was in 2010.

“The 2014 Farm Bill introduced important changes in agricultural policy by expanding the range of crop insurance options while eliminating several commodity support programs,” said Barbara Rater, director of NASS Census and Survey Division. “Data from the 2016 ARMS will be used to assess the crop insurance choices made by farmers, helping policymakers better understand the impact of crop insurance offerings on farm production decisions and financial outcomes.”

NASS is already working with producers on the first phase of this survey. The survey is conducted in three phases from May 2016 through April 2017. The first phase screens participants to make sure they accurately represent the entire U.S. farm sector. During the second phase, NASS will collect information on production practices and chemical use for specific commodities. In the final phase, NASS will survey producers on cost of production, farm income and production expenditures.

“We strongly encourage every producer contacted for ARMS to participate, as their response represents not just their own farm, but many other similar operations across the country,” added Rater. “To make responding as convenient as possible, the survey can be completed online at http://agcounts.usda.gov and NASS representatives are available by phone. Producers can also complete and mail the paper form.”

For more information about the 2016 Agricultural Resource Management Survey visit http://1.usa.gov/1PHpMj9.


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