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USDA survey to help draft next farm law

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is giving agricultural producers the opportunity to provide the financial data used by policymakers to draft the 2007 Farm Bill.

California farmers and ranchers can make the facts known by participating in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) for 2005.

ARMS is the USDA's primary source of information about the current status of and changes in financial conditions, production practices, use of resources and household well-being for both California and national agriculture.

The survey results will show the impact of higher expenses, the shifting global markets, farmer production decisions and governmental policies on the agricultural economy. Data from the ARMS survey is used to measure the benefits of direct, counter-cyclical and ad hoc emergency payments as producers continue to look to the marketplace for economic reward.

“I strongly recommend that producers take the time and energy to respond to USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Survey,” says Bob Young, chief economist, American Farm Bureau Federation. “ARMS data is the lifeblood to anyone looking at the numbers the dollars and cents of U.S. agriculture.”

Roger Cryan, director of Economic Research, National Milk Producers Federation maintains, “ARMS helps us understand the extent to which hired labor is part of the average operation and what kind of investment farmers have to pass on to the next generation.”

“The 2007 Farm Bill will set basic agricultural policy for the next five years,” says Vic Tolomeo, director, California Agricultural Statistics. “The bill requires estimates of income for both crop and livestock farms,” added Tolomeo. “ARMS is the only source of data for these estimates.”

Results will be published in a series of USDA reports on the current farm financial situation. Farm Production Expenditures, the first report with results from the survey, will be released in August 2006.

To view this report or to obtain a copy of any finished report, visit the NASS Web site at or call the NASS Order Desk at (800) 727-9540.

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