CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

January 28, 2014

USDA to measure economic well-being of US farms


The Cullman Times

MONTGOMERY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the next several months gathering information about production practices from farmers and ranchers across the nation through the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The results of this survey will serve as a primary source of information for numerous federal policies and programs that affect U.S. farms and farm families.

"Accurate data are key to better decision-making," said Cynthia Price, State Statistician of the NASS Alabama Field Office. "By responding to ARMS, Alabama farmers ensure that decisions impacting them are based on accurate real-life information."

NASS conducts ARMS jointly with USDA's Economic Research Service. In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, the federal agencies will reach out to nearly 33,000 producers nationwide, including 420 in Alabama, between Jan. 30, 2014, and April 4, 2014. The survey asks producers to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

"We realize that this survey is lengthy and some producers may have questions or need clarification," explained Price "In February, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded to answer any questions they may have and help them fill out their questionnaires."

In addition accurate data, NASS is strongly committed to confidentiality. Information provided by respondents is confidential by law. The agency safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The economic data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on Aug. 1, 2014. All NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

NASS provides accurate, timely, useful and objective statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. The agency invites you to express your thoughts and provide occasional feedback on our products and services by joining a data user community. To join, sign in at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/subscriptions and look for "NASS Data User Community."