ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) statistical reports remain on schedule amid the COVID19 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.
“It is incredibly important that producers respond to NASS surveys so that they are included in these data, especially given this challenging time,” said Maryland and Delaware State Statistician Shareefah Williams. “When agricultural stakeholders, local and federal decision-makers, and other data users want to know how this pandemic affected our farmers and the agricultural industry, they will look to NASS data for their analyses. 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 Williams. 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.
NASS continues to evaluate all program operations as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Any changes to the NASS report schedule will be announced to the public on nass.usda.gov and on Twitter @usda_nass. For questions, assistance with a survey, or to submit information by phone, Maryland and Delaware producers can call toll-free 866-294-8560, or contact Williams at 800-498-1518.