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Dec 22 -- 1) Agricultural Resources Management Survey phases 1-2 and Chemical Use Surveys

This notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Resources Management Survey (ARMS), phases 1 and 2 as well as Chemical Use Surveys. All phases of the Agricultural Resources Management Survey(s) are included in the current OMB Control Number 0535-0218, but this information collection renewal request will only include the ARMS phases 1 and 2 as well as Chemical Use Surveys. The ARMS phase 3 surveys will be moved to a separate information collection request. Splitting these surveys across multiple information collections will allow USDA and cooperators more flexibility for changes to best address current trends in the farming industry. Comments on this notice must be received by February 21, 2023 to be assured of consideration.
 
The Agricultural Resource Management Survey(s) (ARMS) are the primary source of information for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a broad range of issues related to: production practices, costs and returns, pest management, chemical usage, and contractor expenses. Data are collected on both a whole farm level and on selected commodities. Historically, the ARMS docket contained a screening phase, a chemical use phase and an economic phase. This Notice and information collection will focus on the ARMS phases 1 and 2—the screening, production practices, as well as chemical use surveys.

The combined ARMS surveys are the only source of information available for objective evaluation of many critical issues related to economics, chemical usage, and cropping practices. Breaking these surveys into separate OMB approvals will assist in making timely updates to questionnaires to keep in touch with an ever-changing industry.

A Congressional mandate exists for the development of annual estimates of the cost of producing wheat, feed grains, cotton, and dairy commodities. USDA also collects cost of production data for soybeans, rice, peanuts, hogs, and beef cow-calf in order to provide economic information for comparison among the major farm commodities that compete for U.S. agricultural resources. The economic data collection and publication for the cost of production surveys will be included under a new, separate OMB approval.

Congress has mandated that NASS and ERS build nationally coordinated databases on agricultural chemical use and related farm practices; these databases are the primary vehicles used to produce specified environmental and economic estimates. The surveys will help provide the knowledge and technical means for producers and researchers to address on-farm environmental concerns in a manner that maintains agricultural productivity. The commodities that are scheduled to be included in this approval are in the following table . . .

Number of respondents and total burden include additional sample methodology and/or sample sizes for ARMS Phase 1 (the Screening Survey) in order to collect data from additional historically underserved producer groups in the ARMS Phase 3 (the Costs and Returns Survey). Collecting more data from these groups will support President Biden's and USDA's priority to advance racial justice, equity, and opportunity by providing more detailed data and research on the socioeconomic characteristics of farmers and ranchers in the United States to ensure all USDA policies and decisions are inclusive of all people the Department serves. This effort will ensure USDA is able to provide data about the financial well-being and other characteristics for historically underserved groups.
 
Approximately 115,000 respondents will be sampled each year. Less than 20 percent of these respondents will be contacted more than one time in a single year for the surveys in this docket.
 
ARMS, including survey forms and methodology: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Ag_Resource_Management/
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-27761

2) Agricultural Resource Management phase 3 Economic Surveys

This notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to conduct a new information collection to gather data regarding production practices, costs and returns, and contractor expenses. This data is currently being collected under OMB number 0535-0218. Comments on this notice must be received by February 21, 2023 to be assured of consideration.
 
The Agricultural Resource Management Survey(s) (ARMS) are the primary source of information for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a broad range of issues related to: production practices, costs and returns, and contractor expenses. Data are collected on both a whole farm level and on selected commodities. This Notice and information collection will focus on the ARMS phase 3 Economic Surveys, previously included in the Agricultural Resource Management and Chemical Use Surveys Information Collection Request (OMB Control Number 0535-0218).

The ARMS phase 3 Economic Surveys are the only annual source of information available for objective evaluation of many critical issues related to agriculture and the rural economy, such as: annual whole farm finance data, including data sufficient to construct estimates of income for farms by: type of operation, loan commodities, income for operator households, credit, structure, and organization; marketing information; and other economic data on input usage, production practices, and crop substitution possibilities.

Data from ARMS are used to produce estimates of net farm income by type of commercial producer as required in 7 U.S.C. 7998 as amended and estimates of enterprise production costs as required in 7 U.S.C. 1441(a) as amended. Data from ARMS are also used as weights in the development of the Prices Paid Index, a component of the Parity Index referred to in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended. These indexes are used to calculate the annual federal grazing fee rates as described in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978 and Executive Order 12548 and as promulgated in regulations found at 36 CFR 222.51, as amended.

In addition, ARMS is used to produce estimates of sector-wide production expenditures and other components of income that are used in constructing the estimates of income and value-added which are transmitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) for use in constructing economy-wide estimates of Gross Domestic Product. This transmittal of data, prepared using the ARMS, is undertaken to satisfy a 1956 agreement between the Office of Management and Budget, and the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce that a single set of estimates be published on farm income.

Number of respondents and total burden include additional sample methodology and/or sample sizes for ARMS Phase 3 in order to collect data from additional historically underserved producer groups in the ARMS Phase 3 (the Costs and Returns Survey). Collecting more data from these groups will support President Biden's and USDA's priority to advance racial justice, equity, and opportunity by providing more detailed data and research on the socioeconomic characteristics of farmers and ranchers in the United States to ensure all USDA policies and decisions are inclusive of all people the Department serves. This effort will ensure USDA is able to provide data about the financial well-being and other characteristics for historically underserved groups.

In this approval request for the next three years; the ARMS 3 surveys will overlap with the 2024 Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL, OMB Control Number 0535-0240) which will be conducted in early 2025. Farm operators who are selected to complete the ARMS phase 3 and the TOTAL survey will have the option of completing the ARMS 3 questionnaire and not having to complete the TOTAL survey. The ARMS phase 3 questionnaire contains the same essential questions as the TOTAL.

The commodity specific questionnaire versions that are scheduled to be conducted in the next three years are included in the following table. . . . Up to 47,100 respondents will be sampled each year for the ARMS phase 3 Economic Surveys.

ARMS, including survey forms and methodology: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Ag_Resource_Management/
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-27773

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