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July 15 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) invites comments by September 13, 2022 on its proposed revision and extension of the Annual Organic Survey.

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) typically funds an organic production and practices survey in years where the Census of Agriculture Special Study for Organics isn't conducted. The next Special Study is planned for 2025 (enumerated in early 2026), so this request will include only the surveys that are funded by USDA-RMA for crop years 2022 to 2024.
Originally, the Organic Survey was designed to be conducted once every five years as a mandatory, follow-on-survey to the 2007 Census of Agriculture and then every five years after that. In 2011, the docket was renewed to include that the survey was changed to accommodate a cooperative agreement between NASS and the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). Specifically, the survey was changed to a voluntary survey that was to be conducted annually if funding permitted, and it would allow for a rotation of target crops each year. With the completion of the 2012 Census of Agriculture, NASS renewed the Organic Survey again and returned it to its' original scope of questions and the mandatory reporting requirement. After the completion of the 2014 Organic Survey, NASS renewed its' cooperative agreement with RMA to conduct the shorter questionnaire on an annual basis.

The sample will consist of all certified organic operations, operations exempt from organic certification (value of sales < $5,000), and operations with acres transitioning into organic certification from the most recent published Census of Agriculture as well as organic operations currently on the NASS list frame. The survey will be conducted in all States. Some operation level data will be collected to use in classifying each operation for summary purposes. The majority of the questions will involve production data (acres planted, acres harvested, quantity harvested, quantity sold, livestock produced and sold, value of sale, etc.), and marketing and production practices.

Depending on annual funding, approximately 26,000 operations will be contacted by mail in early January, with a second mailing later in the month to non-respondents. Respondents will be able to complete the questionnaire by use of the internet, if they so choose. Telephone and personal enumeration will be used for remaining non-response follow-up. If the survey is funded, the National Agricultural Statistics Service will publish summaries in December at both the State level and for each major organic commodity when possible. Due to confidentiality rules, some State level data may be combined and published at the regional or national level to prevent disclosure of individual operation's data.

Annual Organic Survey webpage: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Organic_Production/
Survey instruments and technical documentation approved by OMB in 2019: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202107-0535-003
For the 2022-2024 survey, NASS writes AEAStat: "Draft documents for NASS’s Information Collection Requests (ICRs) are typically not available until literally the day they are provided to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Federal Register Notice (FRN) providing the 30-day public comment period is submitted for publication. That is the case for the renewal of NASS’s Organic Surveys ICR (OMB No. 0535-0249); we do not have draft documents available." Point of contact: Richard Hopper, Methodology Division, NASS  202-720-2206 richard.hopper@usda.gov
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-15139

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