The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today that the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the first two weeks of June surveying approximately 1,800 farmers across Virginia to get a clear indication of the production and supply of major commodities for 2012. NASS, an arm of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, will compile information collected across the country into one publically accessible report to ensure the confidentiality of individual farmer information.
In March, Virginia farmers reported that they had planted or intend to plant more acres of corn, soybeans and peanuts this crop season and fewer acres of cotton. Now with most of the crop actually in the ground, the NASS Virginia Field Office is reaching out to producers to find out what they actually planted.
Through two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey, NASS will gather data on what crops have been planted and what commodities are in storage. This information will provide a comprehensive picture of how things are shaping up in 2012 for the U.S. agriculture industry.
“For the agricultural survey, we contact producers by mail, phone or personal visit. We ask them to provide information on their total acreage, acres planted to specific commodities – including biotech varieties – and quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm,” said Herman Ellison,” director of the NASS Virginia Field Office.
“For the area survey, we visit randomly selected tracts of land and interview the operators of any farm or ranch on that land. We collect information on crop acreage – including biotech crops – as well as grain stocks, livestock inventory, cash rents, land values and value of sales.”
This information is a critical component of several key national reports, including the annual Acreage report and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on June 29. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s monthly and annual Crop Production reports and various other crop and livestock-related publications, including USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
“In these challenging economic times, farmers and the rest of the agricultural industry need timely, accurate data on the current state of U.S. agricultural production,” said, Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner. “The information collected through these mid-year surveys can help producers, suppliers, traders, buyers, export customers and others make sound and informed business decisions.”