Recognizing the critical importance of consistent data collection, conscientious farm stakeholders have collaborated to publicize the need for more diligent survey participation among American growers, recently meeting to brainstorm as polling results have lagged nationwide.
Daykin, Nebraska, farmer Steve Ebke serves as risk management
action team chair for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). When he consulted
with Michael Clements of the National Farm Broadcasters, they determined that
farmers’ profits could be adversely impacted without regular and adequate
feedback to entities such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the government
agency behind many of the surveys distributed by the National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS).
“There seem to be county-to-county differences that
are unaccounted for and … some counties did not have enough information … for
them to publish data,” Ebke said. “Farm Service Agency uses that data to
calculate ARC payments. So, if NASS does not have the data, they will have to
look elsewhere for it.”
In other words, Agriculture Risk Coverage suffers without
documentation to support the program. Ebke, Clements and their colleagues are raising
awareness among growers, urging them to complete their surveys.
“In fact, I just received my county agricultural production
survey in the mail for 2016 the other day,” he said. “You can either do it
manually … and mail that back in, or you can complete it online. Most of the
information in that survey is information farmers have readily
Ebke emphasized that responses are kept confidential so that
individual farmers’ privacy is fully protected. He said neglecting to complete
NASS surveys can actually put farms at risk for receiving ARC payments.
“I just want to urge everyone to go ahead and complete this
as it is very important to your bottom line,” Ebke said. “We have additional
information on our website and even a direct link to USDA’s site, where you can
complete your survey.”
Organizations in this story
National Corn Growers Association 632 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO 63005
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