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February 2, 2007

USDA TO MEASURE THE ECONOMIC STATE OF U.S. AGRICULTURE

Columbia, MO – Crop and livestock producers in Missouri and nationwide 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 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 Gene Danekas, director of the NASS Missouri Field Office. “This information is used not just by USDA and Congress, but also by universities, Missouri crop and livestock associations, agribusinesses and others who make the decisions that shape the future of Missouri agriculture.”

Between January and April, NASS field offices will contact 36,000 farm operators nationwide by mail, telephone or in person to complete the survey. Producers will be asked to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics. About 2,000 crop and livestock producers in Missouri will be contacted.

“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,” Danekas explained. “Producer participation in ARMS ensures that decisions affecting farm operators, their families, their businesses and their communities are based on the facts, straight from the source.”

Survey responses will be compiled and NASS will publish the farm economic data in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report, to be released on August 2, 2007. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified. All NASS reports are available online at: www.nass.usda.gov.

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