USDA Surveys Farm Financial Health

The results of a USDA survey to study the economic viability of American farms will be used to inform future agriculture-policy decisions.

by Dani Yokhna
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct the 2011 Agricultural Resource Management Survey through April.

At the start of this year, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service began contacting farmers and ranchers across the nation to conduct the Agricultural Resource Management Survey. This survey will provide the USDA with accurate, real-world data that will help shape the policies, programs and issues that affect them.

“ARMS asks a small but representative sample of farmers about their operation in order to understand the current financial state of U.S. agriculture,” says Herb Vanderberry, director of the NASS North Carolina Field Office. “Participation in ARMS is so important because government and agricultural leaders use the information needed to make sound decisions that impact the future of farmers, their families, their businesses and their communities.”

The survey will be conducted between February and April 2011. In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, NASS will reach out to nearly 35,000 producers nationwide. Producers will be asked to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

“Farm organizations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other government agencies, members of Congress, and state and local officials use the collective information from ARMS to answer questions and make important decisions concerning the economic viability of American agriculture, the rural economy and other emerging issues,” Vanderberry explains.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS 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 August 2, 2011. View all NASS reports on the USDA website

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