located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a field office
of the National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS) . NASS, headquartered in Washington D.
C. with 45 field offices, is an agency of the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) . NASS
has a field office in each state with the exception that
all New England States are serviced by New Hampshire .
Utah Agricultural Statistics is responsible for making timely and accurate
crop, livestock, and price estimates for Utah under the direction of NASS
as mandated by the USDA. Utah Agricultural Statistics conducts numerous surveys
during the year with Utah farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses. Data collected
on these surveys are kept strictly confidential, and no individual responses
are ever divulged or released. Field office statisticians summarize and analyze
the data and then recommend crop production, livestock inventory, price,
and other agriculture estimates to NASS headquarters. Headquarters statisticians
review the state recommendations and issue state and national estimates to
the public on scheduled dates throughout the year. State recommendations
and national reports are produced under strict security to insure that no
one has advance information prior to the release. National reports are summarized
locally in state-level reports.
Wheat acreage, yield and production, January 1 cattle inventory,
and the price farmers receive for their hay are examples
of the estimates available. In addition to state-level estimates,
county estimates are available for some commodities. Historic
data as far back as 1867 are available for some commodities.
Federal and State owned lands account for about 75 percent
of the states total land mass of 54.4 million acres. In addition
to recreation, this land provides grazing needed for the states
cattle and sheep industries. Although not major crops, many
vegetables such as sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, and so on
are grown in the state. You will also be able to find apricots,
apples, tart and sweet cherries, peaches and pears. Some of
the tastiest watermelon and cantaloupes are grown in the state.
Agriculture is a major industry of Utah and is the backbone
for many rural communities and towns.
Utah 's agriculture is primarily nestled in mountain valleys. Cultivated crops
are grown at elevations from 7,000 feet to just under 3,000 feet. Nearly
1.2 million acres of crops, excluding range and pasture, are harvested each
year from the 11 million acres in farms and ranches. Annual precipitation
varies from about 6 to 18 inches in the major farming areas. Some non-irrigated
grains and hay are raised but irrigation is a must for most of the crops
grown in the state. Farmers and ranchers are very dependent on high mountain
snowpack and reservoirs to provide ample irrigation water each year. Utah
farmers and ranchers derive about two-thirds of their total cash receipts
from cattle, milk, and hay sales.