Beginning in February, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will spend several months gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2020 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).
Questionnaires were mailed to producers in December. To protect the health of producers, partners and employees, NASS is unable to work with farmers in person to complete this survey.
“ARMS is the only survey that measures the current financial well-being of Minnesota producers and their households as a whole,” says Dan Lofthus, Minnesota state statistician. “The results of this survey will help inform decisions on local and federal policies and programs that affect Minnesota farms and farm families.”
To obtain the most accurate data, NASS will reach out to more than 30,000 farmers nationwide, including 1,600 in Minnesota, between January and April. The survey asks farmers to provide in-depth information about their operating revenues, production costs and household characteristics. The 2020 survey includes a version of the questionnaire focused on hog and pig production costs and returns. The survey also includes questions to help measure any impacts of COVID-19 on farms, farm and household finances, and off-farm employment.
“In February, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded,” Lofthus says. “We appreciate their time and are here to help them with the questionnaire so that their information will continue supporting sound agricultural decision-making.”
In addition to producing accurate information, NASS has strong safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality of all farmers who respond to its surveys. The agency will only publish data in an aggregate form, ensuring the confidentiality of all responses and that no individual respondent or operation can be identified.
The expense data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report in July. That report and others are available at nass.usda.gov/Publications. More reports based on ARMS data and more information about ARMS are available at ers.usda.gov/arms.