USDA to study soybean and spring wheat production practices and costs

U.S. Department of Agriculture

St. Paul, MN – In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin contacting Minnesota growers to learn about their production practices during the 2017 growing season for soybeans and spring wheat. NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) jointly conduct the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), which gathers data on farmers’ fertilizer and chemical use, pest management, field operations, and production costs.

“One of the major benefits of this study is that the data gathered will be used to assist in the re-registration of existing pesticides and the registration of new pesticides. This information is needed so the Environmental Protection Agency has actual pesticide usage data from farmers to make these decisions rather than just assuming maximum label rates are being applied,” said NASS’ Minnesota State Statistician, Dan Lofthus, “The results of this survey will also help agricultural leaders and decision-makers better understand how producers cope with risks and make decisions about chemical use, new technologies and other aspects of farming,” added Lofthus.

In Minnesota, data will only be collected from about 300 soybean and 150 spring wheat producers. Given the limited number of farmers being contacted, participation of every producer is critical. Please take the time to complete an interview if you are contacted by your local NASS representative. They will begin contacting selected producers in September and continuing through November, which will hopefully allow farmers enough time to complete the report at their convenience. In early 2018, these spring wheat producers will be surveyed to obtain additional economic data about their operation.

The last nationwide production practice study for these commodities was conducted in 2015. Since then, it is likely that farmers have changed how they grow these crops. Therefore, the data collected from this survey will provide a voice for farmers to show how current production practices have changed and that impact on crop production. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is kept strictly confidential. The results of this survey will be available in aggregate form only, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law.

The results of the ARMS will be released on NASS’s website at www.nass.usda.gov in

May 2018. For more information call the NASS Minnesota Field Office at (651) 728-3113.