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September 22, 2006

NASS TO ASSESS BENEFITS OF CONSERVATION PROGRAMS

Columbia, MO - How are farmers’ and ranchers’ conservation practices improving water, soil, and air quality and enhancing wildlife habitat across the country? To help answer this question, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) October through mid-December.

“Producers’ participation in CEAP will be especially critical this year as we gear up for the 2007 Farm Bill,” said Gene Danekas, Director of the NASS Missouri Field Office. “CEAP provides USDA, policymakers and the public with a concrete measure of the benefits achieved through the federal investment in agricultural conservation programs.”

Selected producers will be asked for information about their farming activities, land management practices, and participation in USDA conservation programs. The information gathered through CEAP will be combined with data from other sources to create a complete picture of environmental and conservation management conditions across the United States.

“By participating in CEAP, farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to ensure that conservation programs will continue to keep America’s working lands healthy and productive into the future,” Danekas said.

Danekas emphasized that, as is the case with all NASS surveys, CEAP participants can be assured that the confidentiality of their responses is protected by law. “NASS strictly safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only state- and national level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified,” he said.

For more information about CEAP and other surveys conducted by NASS, contact the Missouri Field Office at (800) 551-1014.