(Posted Thu. Oct 27th, 2016)

National Corn Growers Association’s Risk Management Action Team Chair Steve Ebke, who farms in Daykin, Neb., sat down with Michael Clements of the National Farm Broadcasters to discuss the importance of responding to surveys distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Statistics Service. Responses to recent surveys from USDA have reached historical lows, and this can impact farmers’ bottom lines.


 “There seem to be county-to-county differences that are unaccounted for and, when you look at it, some counties did not have enough information from responses to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for them to publish data. Farm Service Agency uses that data to calculate ARC payments. So, if NASS does not have the data, they will have to look elsewhere for it.


“This has resulted in a great deal of concern in the countryside. What we are doing at this time is urging everyone to complete their NASS surveys so that each county has a sufficient amount of data for FSA to calculate the payments based upon what actually happened in that county.”


Ebke says a lack of data has led to discontent regarding Agriculture Risk Coverage program payments for 2014 and 2015.


“In fact, I just received my county agricultural production survey in the mail for 2016 the other day. You can either do it manually with the booklet that you receive and mail that back in, or you can complete it online. Most of the information in that survey is information farmers have readily available.


“One thing that we want to emphasize is that your data is confidential. Your individual data is confidential and never individually presented somewhere. Your data is aggregated and only presented in that format. The confidentiality of your individual data submitted on the NASS survey is protected by federal law.”


Failing to complete the survey, according to Ebke, puts your farm at risk for receiving ARC payments that do not reflect actual production in your county.


“I just want to urge everyone to go ahead and complete this as it is very important to your bottom line. We have additional information on our website and even a direct link to USDA’s site, where you can complete your survey.”


To listen to the full interview, click here.


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