RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is collecting data from 270 Virginia farmers and more than 35,000 farmers across the country for its annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The survey gathers information that measure the health of all aspects of U.S. agricultural production, including farm financial well-being, farm income and expenditures, chemical usage, and various farm characteristics.
ARMS is a joint effort between NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service. The information farmers provide through the survey influences national and state policy-making decisions. In addition, ARMS data are used to calculate the farm sector portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The survey also collects detailed information on production practices, costs, and returns for 13 principal commodities on a rotating basis.
“The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) is a major source of data for effective policy and decision-making in government and the agriculture industry,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician. “ARMS is an annual survey of farmers to gather information on the finances and production practices of U.S. farms, and the characteristics and economic well-being of farm households.”
How ARMS data are used
- USDA’s Economic Research Service uses ARMS data to accurately gauge the economic health of rural America.
- The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses ARMS data to calculate the farm sector portion of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Data directly from the 35,000 U.S. farmers chosen to respond to this survey is the only way to calculate the agricultural community’s contribution to our country’s economic health.
- When farmers respond to ARMS, they’re telling local and national lawmakers and legislative representatives the costs incurred with farming in America. Lawmakers don’t otherwise know how the overall economy is affecting rural America, making it harder to consider their struggles and sacrifices in policies, laws, and budget appropriations.
- ARMS data is the ag financial component used in formulas through which money is allocated to states for Medicaid funding, ag research and farm loan programs.
“The ARMS survey gives the Virginia farmers a great opportunity to tell their 2017 farming story,” Ellison said. “We encourage all the farmers who are contacted to participate in the ARMS survey so better decisions can be made from better data.”
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. NASS will publish the survey findings in the annual Production Expenditures reportAug. 2, 2018.
For more information about the 2017 Agricultural Resource Management Survey visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/ARMS.
All NASS Virginia reports are available online at https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Virginia/. For more information, call the Virginia Field Office at (800) 772-0670.
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