USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced that regular statistical reports will continue to remain on schedule while the COVID-19 National Emergency is in effect. The March Hogs and Pigs report and the Prospective Plantings report are on schedule to be released March 26 and March 31 respectively.
NASS will continue to collect data for all upcoming reports as well. In person data collection has been suspended at least until April 3, 2020, however producers are being asked to complete their online surveys
“We are making every effort to produce the U.S. crop, livestock, and economic statistics that the nation counts on,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer in a March 20 release. “But to do that responsibly, we are following guidance to slow the spread of coronavirus and to protect the health and safety of producers and employees. It is now more important than ever for everyone who receives a survey to complete it promptly online and encourage others to do the same.”
Officials note that online surveys are faster and should be more convenient for producers since they do not require additional contact such as face to face contact with NASS personnel. Phone interviews are available if necessary. If the surveys are completed by the required deadlines no additional outreach is needed.
"If we are able to collect enough data over the coming weeks, and conditions are such that estimates can be established and released, we will continue to publish these important reports on schedule. The data in the reports are indicators of the nation’s feed and food supply," said Hamer.
Producers can respond to the survey by entering their unique17-digit survey code when prompted at agcounts.usda.gov. If there is a problem connecting to the site, responders can try again later as internet traffic may be high at this time.
NASS assures responders that all information collected in the survey is confidential and used for statistical purposes only. As required by law the information is only published in aggregate form so that no individual or operational information can be identified.
USDA and NASS will continue to evaluate all program operations as the COVID-19 situation evolves. If report schedules change, public announcements will be made at nass.usda.gov and on Twitter@usda_nass.