USDA Survey Measures Economic Well-Being of Farmers

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Farmers will soon have the opportunity to set the record straight about the issues that affect them--and to help ensure that policies and programs are based on accurate, real-world data. This is the goal of the annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). ARMS is USDA's primary source of information on production practices, resource use, and economic well-being of America's farm households.

"Just about every federal policy and program that affects U.S. farmers and farm families is based on information from ARMS," said Becky Cross, director of the NASS Arkansas Field Office. "This information is used not just by USDA and Congress, but also by University of Arkansas, agribusinesses and others who make the decisions that shape the future of Arkansas agriculture."

From January through March, NASS field offices will contact over 33,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide by mail, phone, or personal interview to complete the survey. Producers will be asked to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs, and household characteristics.

"All farm operators rely on quality information and sound government policies in order to run a successful business. That's why participation in ARMS is so important," Cross explained. "Producer participation in ARMS ensures that decisions affecting farmers, their families, their businesses, and their communities are based on the facts, straight from the source."

ARMS survey responses will be complied and NASS will publish the farm economic data in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report, to be released on August 7, 2008. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified. All NASS reports are available online at: www.nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Arkansas Field Office at (800) 327-2970.

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