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Ag survey responses sought

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will be conducting a survey in December to obtain crucial year-end production information important to producers, suppliers, bankers and grain elevator operators.

The December Agricultural Survey and County Agricultural Production Survey will ask grain producers to provide information on their planted acres, harvested acres, yields, total levels of production for specific commodities and the quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm.

The results of these surveys will give detailed county level data on 2013 production and 2014 supplies, for row and hay crops, in the Pacific Northwest and the United States.

The only way to obtain the data is by asking the producer directly. Many producers have asked NASS to use the Farm Service Agency’s data. However, FSA simply does not have the data needed for NASS estimates.

Producers often have crops that are not reported to FSA, but still need to be accounted for in the northwest’s estimates. By asking farm operators directly, NASS can receive accurate and timely information that FSA does not have available.

In early December, NASS will sample small grain producers to collect data from all states except Hawaii. A producer may respond in either of the following ways:

Online - Secure, online reporting is the most timely, cost-effective option. The cover letter includes instructions for this easy option. It saves the federal government return postage costs.

By mail or fax - Producers fill out the survey questionnaire and return it in the envelope provided or via fax.

A NASS representative will contact producers who do not respond with the option of a telephone or personal interview.

Producers benefit from completing this survey. It will provide timely and accurate information that will help producers make year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing and marketing season. They will have access to the same data as all others with whom they do business.

The data obtained by the survey is used by the USDA to evaluate and administer vital farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, insurance and loan programs.

Response is vital to make sure this important data is as accurate as possible. For additional information contact NASS Northwest Regional Director Chris Mertz at (800) 435-5883.

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