01-17-17 NASS-CO: USDA to Gauge Financial Well-Being of Mountain Region Farms and Ranches

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USDA to Gauge Financial Well-Being of Mountain Region Farms and Ranches

Denver, Colorado January, 2017 – Beginning last December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend several months gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2016 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

“ARMS is the only survey program that allows anyone to clearly see the current financial well-being of Mountain Region producers and their households as a whole,” said Bill Meyer, director of the NASS Mountain Office. “The results of this survey will serve as a primary source of information for numerous local and federal policies and programs that affect local farms and farm families,”

NASS conducts ARMS jointly with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, the federal agencies will reach out to more than 30,000 producers nationwide, including 1,200 in the Mountain Region from December 23rd, 2016 through April 1st. The survey asks producers to provide in-depth data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics. The survey will also specifically target dairy operations and those producers who grow corn to specifically report the economic conditions encountered by these types of operations.

“We realize that this survey is lengthy and some producers may have questions or need clarification,” explained Meyer. “In Late January, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded to answer any questions they may have and help them fill out their questionnaires.”

In addition to accurate data, NASS is strongly committed to confidentiality. The agency will only publish data in an aggregate form. This helps safeguard the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The economic data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on August 3, 2017. All NASS reports are available online at http://www.nass.usda.gov. ERS also plans to release a series of reports based on ARMS data. All of these reports will be available on the agency’s site at http://www.ers.usda.gov.

For state specific questions please contact:

Arizona – Dave DeWalt 1-800-645-7286 Colorado – William R. Meyer 1-800-392-3202 Montana – Eric Sommer 1-800-835-2612 New Mexico – Longino Bustillos 1-800-530-8810 Utah – John Hilton 1-800-747-8522 Wyoming – Rhonda Brandt 1-800-892-1660

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