NASS Numbers Matter


The United States Department of Agriculture recently released it latest Crop Progress Report.

Virginia farmer JN Mills, alongside his son and brother, farms corn, wheat, and soybeans outside of Richmond, Virginia. The land has been in his family for more than 16 generations. As farming continues to evolve, and changes more frequently over the years, farmers need information to make decisions about their operations now more than ever. The National Agriculture Statistics Service reports can provide that information to farmers.

“It gives them an idea if they want to adjust their crop rotation – do they want to plan more corn or plant more to beans. Generally, in our area in our situation, we plan on it benefiting us very much for our variations in crop rotations. If they didn’t have statistics, they’d basically just be trying to chase the markets,” Mills explains.

In recent years, NASS has struggled with a declining number of farmers answering NASS surveys, forcing them to limit the amount of data they return to farmers. Mills believes that farmers might not know how important the role survey participation is to programs like crop insurance.

“I don’t think most farmers realize how closely they are connected, especially with the final numbers. The final numbers are going to determine what their final payments will be, or if there is going to be a final payment,” says JN Mills.

Commodity groups and others create their own reports through memberships, but Mr. Mills believes the NASS reports are more important. He encourages all farmers to fill out their NASS surveys, which can be completed online, by mail, or over the phone.

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