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Feb 16 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) invites comments to OMB by March 21, 2024 regarding the proposed revision and extension of the Agricultural Surveys Program. [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on February 20.]

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is requesting a substantive change to the Agricultural Surveys Program information collection request (OMB No. 0535–0213) for program changes. Every five years NASS conducts a program review following the completion of the Census of Agriculture. The program changes balance resources across all of the programs included in the annual estimating program, which represents over 400 individual reports across multiple Information Collection Requests (ICRs). This substantive change is to accommodate the field crop program changes that affect this ICR. The methodology, publication dates, burden and data collection plan do not change as result of these program changes. The changes to these surveys will not affect burden hours.

The surveys provide the basis for estimates of the current season's crop and livestock production and supplies of grain in storage. Crop and livestock statistics help develop a stable economic atmosphere and reduce risk for production, marketing, and distribution operations. These commodities affect the well being of the nation's farmers, commodities markets, and national and global agricultural policy. Users of agricultural statistics are farm organizations, agribusiness, state and national farm policy makers, and foreign buyers of agricultural products but the primary user of the statistical information is the producer. Agricultural statistics are also used to plan and administer other related federal and state programs in such areas as school lunch program, conservation, foreign trade, education, and recreation. Collecting the information less frequent would eliminate needed data to keep the government and agricultural industry abreast of changes at the state and national levels.

The Agricultural Surveys Program is a combination of surveys utilizing several different sampling frames. Basic agricultural data is collected from farmers and ranchers throughout the nation and used to prepare agricultural estimates and forecasts of crop acreages, yields, and production; stocks of grains and oilseeds; hog and pig inventory; sheep inventory and lamb crop; goat and kid inventory; cattle inventory; cattle on feed, and land values. The surveys provide the basis for estimates of the current season’s crop and livestock production and supplies of grain and oilseeds in storage. Survey results provide the foundation for setting livestock and poultry inventory numbers.  Estimates derived from these surveys supply information needed by farmers to make decisions for both short- and long-term planning.

The list surveys in this information collection are grouped together because they are interrelated probability surveys that make up much of the NASS core estimating program. An integral part of this estimating program is the area sampling frame used to select the samples for the June Area Frame Survey (JAS).  Indications from this survey are used to estimate the major crops grown, livestock inventories, on-farm grain stocks, and agricultural land values and rents. Being an area frame survey, all land in a State is represented. Current Agency survey design utilizes area frame surveys to measure incompleteness of various commodity list frame surveys. To determine incompleteness, operators found in the area sample are matched against all names on the list frame for that commodity. When there is a match, the operator is "overlap" and represented by the list frame.  When there is not a match, the operator is "non-overlap" and will be expanded by the inverse of the probability of selection on the area frame to account for incompleteness of the list frame. The two frame components combine to provide an unbiased estimate of the population.

Guide to NASS Surveys and Programs: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/index.php
NASS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202402-0535-001 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-03281 and https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-03745

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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