WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – During September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts two surveys critical to small grains producers around the country, including those growing wheat, oats, barley and rye. The results of the surveys (Agricultural Survey – September and the County Agricultural Production Survey) help determine elements of farm payment and risk management programs. The Agricultural Survey also asks for grain stocks information.


“The most important take-away message for producers is to respond to NASS surveys,” said Joseph Parsons, NASS Agricultural Statistics Board chair. “Farm programs important to small grains producers rely on farmer-reported NASS data. When enough producers do not respond to surveys, NASS is not able to publish data. Without these data, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency don’t have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers. Producers lose out when there is no data to determine accurate rates for loans, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more.”

Parsons noted that Hurricane Harvey may have created obstacles in obtaining some of the survey data.

“In areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey, we realize that some producers may not be able to respond,” Parsons said. “Their safety and well-being are of primary importance at this time. However, response is extremely important as we begin to assess the storm damage to crop yields and crops stored on the operation.”


While both surveys are mailed, producers have the option to respond using the secure online questionnaire or return it by mail. NASS said it safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.


Survey results will be published in several reports, including the annual Small Grains Summary and Grain Stocks on Sept. 29 and the County Estimates on Dec. 14.