The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) statistical reports remain on schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NASS continues to collect data for all upcoming reports, asking farmers and ranchers to complete their surveys online or by phone. To protect the health and safety of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person data collection until further notice.
“During these challenging times, agricultural data is incredibly important and it is critical that producers respond to NASS surveys so all data are included to tell the true story,” said New England State Statistician, Pam Hird. “When agricultural stakeholders, local and federal decision-makers, and other data users evaluate how this pandemic affected our farmers and the agricultural industry, they will look to NASS data for their analyses. In fact, they are looking now.”
In May, NASS will mail several agricultural surveys. Information from these surveys will be used to determine crop and livestock productivity as well as the economic well-being of the agricultural community. Policy makers, Extension, agribusinesses, and farmers must have accurate information to make informed, data driven decisions. “These data are critical to presenting an accurate picture of local and national agriculture,” said Hird.
In addition to having secure online and phone response options, producers may also return completed questionnaires by U.S. mail. All information submitted to NASS is confidential, only used for statistical purposes, and published in aggregate form, as required by federal law, so that no individual or farm information can be identified.