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Aug 8 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), USDA invites comments to OMB by September 8, 2022 regarding its request to revise and extend the Vegetable Surveys Program.

The primary function of the National Agricultural Statistics (NASS) is to prepare and issue current official state and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices and disposition. The Vegetable Surveys program obtains basic agricultural statistics for fresh market and processing vegetables in major producing states. Vegetable statistics are used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help administer programs and by growers, processors, and marketers in making production and marketing decisions.  Estimates for the fresh market and processing vegetable program consists of 26 selected crops collected and published on an annual basis.    

The vegetable program classifies vegetables by utilization; all crops can be used by both the fresh and processed markets, except lettuce which is only fresh. The vegetable program surveys growers, who are contacted in November and asked to report acres planted and harvested, quantity of vegetables produced, and how much of their crop was sold through fresh markets or for processing along with the correlating prices. Some of the vegetable production surveys will incorporate sampling of the total population of producers, while the processing surveys will involve a total enumeration of the entire population.  Some improvements are being made to this program from the current approval and are documented here. The most significant change is the removal of the New Mexico Chile Survey as the data will now be collected in the End of Season Vegetable Survey.  

These estimates provide vital statistics for growers, processors, and marketers to use in making production and marketing decisions.  Private industry forecasters use the data to track production levels for the industry.  Federal and State agencies use the annual summary when developing and appraising government programs affecting the vegetable industry.  Allied industries such as container manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, and plant breeders use the data in feasibility studies to assess the economic impact of products and define market size and location.  Data have been provided to foreign governments interested in U.S. vegetable production and to extension specialists at land grant universities.

Some States have entered into cooperative agreements with NASS to include additional vegetables to the Federal program. These crops are significant to their State‚Äôs economy.  The USDA Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency will use NASS data for administering their programs and this supplemental data is needed to get a complete picture of the vegetable production in these States.   

Survey results are used by the Economic Research Service (ERS) for the Vegetables and Pulses Outlook Report https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/cj82k729x?locale=en   

Vegetable data provides information to assist the Agricultural Marketing Service in the administration of market orders for tomatoes and onions.  Another user of NASS data is the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, to help administer their Generalized System of Preferences Program, which determines preferred imports from other countries.  The International Trade Commission utilizes vegetable data in its studies of import relief.  
 
Vegetable Surveys Program: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Vegetables/index.php
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202206-0535-002 Click on IC List for collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-16881
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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