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Nov 3 -- This notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, Objective Yield Surveys. Minor changes to burden will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length. Comments on this notice must be received by January 3, 2023 to be assured of consideration.

The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to collect, prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices and disposition as well as economic statistics, farm numbers, land values, on-farm pesticide usage, pest crop management practices, as well as the Census of Agriculture. The Objective Yield Surveys objectively predict yields for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, wheat, citrus, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Sample fields are randomly selected for these crops, plots are laid out, and periodic counts and measurements are taken and then used to forecast production during the growing season. Production forecasts are published in USDA crop reports. The Objective Yield surveys provide data for monthly forecasts and end-of-season estimates of planted and harvested acres, yield, and production of winter wheat, corn for grain, soybeans, fall potatoes, and upland cotton. All acres for harvest as grain in the leading producing states are eligible for this survey.

The fruit and nut objective yield surveys are conducted under cooperative agreements with several State Departments of Agriculture. The individual States will be reimbursing NASS for the costs associated with these additional surveys. The surveys will include: California citrus, almonds and walnuts; Florida citrus; and Oregon hazelnuts.
Objective Yield Surveys: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Objective_Yield/index.php
Draft surveys and supporting documents requested from NASS by AEA. Note response below.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-23928    

Richard Hopper, NASS Survey Statistician writes AEAStat on 11/4/22:

Draft documents for NASS’s Information Collection Requests (ICR) 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 Objective Yield Surveys Program (OMB No. 0535-0088); we do not have draft documents available. However, we can share that the renewal ICR documents will contain minimal changes compared to the current approval found at this link:  https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202004-0535-005. The only anticipated changes will be a modest sample size adjustments to account for recent surveys.

I will also share that the notice seen in the Federal Register has an error that I’m working with the Office of Management and Budget on how to address. The notice mentions that “The Objective Yield Surveys objectively predict yields for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, wheat, citrus, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts.” Potatoes was left in erroneously. Potatoes were removed from the Objective Yield ICR from the substantive change request on February, 2020 (https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=100742601). The estimated burden reported in the 60-day notice is accurate and does not include potatoes.

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