USDA Begins 2016 Resource Management Survey

Kelly MarshallGovernment, USDA

NASSThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be talking to more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers to obtain data for the annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).  This survey covers all areas of agriculture productions; farm financial well-being, chemical use, and many other farm characteristics.  This year the survey will focus on corn production and organic and conventional milk production.

Data from the survey is used to calculate the farm sector portion of the GDP, as well as collect information about production practices, costs, and returns for 13 principal commodities on a rotating biases.  Corn and dairy last made the survey in 2010.

“The 2014 Farm Bill introduced important changes in agricultural policy, by expanding the range of crop insurance options while eliminating several commodity support programs,” said Barbara Rater, director of NASS Census and Survey Division. “Data from the 2016 ARMS will be used to assess the crop insurance choices made by farmers, helping policymakers better understand the impact of crop insurance offerings on farm production decisions and financial outcomes.”

NASS is already working with producers on the first phase of this survey. The survey is conducted in three phases from May 2016 through April 2017. The current, first, phase screens participants to make sure they accurately represent the entire U.S. farm sector. During the second phase, NASS will collect information on production practices and chemical use for specific commodities. In the final phase, NASS will survey producers on cost of production, farm income, and production expenditures.

“We strongly encourage every producer contacted for ARMS to participate, as their response represents not just their own farm, but many other similar operations across the country,” added Rater. “To make responding as convenient as possible, the survey can be completed online at and NASS representatives are available by phone. Producers can also complete and mail the paper form.”