Nearly 13,000 Minnesota farmers will be contacted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service this fall and early winter, asking them to participate in two federal government surveys: the December Agricultural Production Survey and the County Agricultural Production Survey.
Farmers in 42 states will be contacted for the county survey and asked about total acres planted and harvested, and total yield and production of row crops down to the county level.
In Minnesota, farmers will be asked about end-of-year production numbers for corn, soybean, dry bean, potato, sunflower, canola and hay. That information will be collected with the December Agricultural Production Survey, says Dan Lofthus, Minnesota Field Office state statistician. Farmers will receive the ag production survey information prior to Thanksgiving. The survey begins Nov. 29 and runs through mid-December.
The County Agricultural Production Survey will be mailed at the same time, Lofthus says, and that survey period runs from Nov. 29 through mid-January.
Farmers selected to participate will be mailed copies of the surveys. They may either fill out the survey and return it by mail or go online to complete the survey through agcounts.usda.gov.
“If a mail return or online response is not received, we will be following up by phone or in person to collect data until the data collection period closes,” Lofthus says.
Lofthus adds that collected data help federal and state programs that support farmers.
“We hope every producer understands the importance of these data, and will take the time to respond if they receive this survey,” he says. “Producers benefit when there are data available to help determine accurate loan rates, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more. When enough producers respond to surveys, NASS is able to publish data. Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency may not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers.”
NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, Lofthus adds, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified as required by federal law.
Survey results are available at nass.usda.gov. Minnesota’s end-of-year estimates will be released in mid-January; the county estimates will be released in late February.
For more information on NASS surveys and reports and for the release dates by commodity, call the NASS Minnesota Field Office at 800-772-0825.