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Feb 16 -- The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) invites comments to OMB by March 21, 2024 regarding Agricultural Resource Management Phases 1 & 2 and Chemical Use Surveys. [Comments due 30 days after submission on February 20.]

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is requesting a substantive change to the Agricultural Resource Management Phases 1 & 2 and Chemical Use Surveys information collection request (OMB No. 0535–0218) for an increase in sample size due to screening for changes resulting from the reinstatement of the Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) for 2024. Every 10 years NASS conducts the TOTAL as a follow-on survey to the 2022 Census of Agriculture and are authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 as amended.

The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) Phase 3 (OMB # 0535–0275) will be suspended for a period of one year. The suspended survey will be the 2024 survey that would have been conducted in 2025. The scope of the TOTAL survey is greater than that of the ARMS 3 survey. To maintain the ARMS 3 data series, data will be gleaned from the TOTAL surveys to replace the 2024 ARMS 3 data collection.

As a result of the ARMS 3 data being gleaned from TOTAL, the 2024 Integrated Screening Survey (ISS) will include the screening for the TOTAL. Current screening sample size approved for this ICR is 100,000. This substantive change documents the need for the sample size to be increased.

ARMS is the only annual source of whole farm information available for objective evaluation of many critical issues related to agriculture and the rural economy. This issues that will be addressed in this request are: input usage, production practices, and chemical use. Without these data, decision makers cannot analyze and report on critical issues that affect farms and farm households when pesticide regulatory actions are being considered.

ARMS Phase 1/ISS is used as a screening phase for the other surveys. This has proved to be very cost-effective way to draw accurate samples for the other surveys included in this docket. It also helps to reduce respondent burden.

The ARMS Phase 2 Chemical Use Survey is normally conducted every year and it consists of two versions; the Production Practices and Costs Report (PPCR), and the Production Practices Report (PPR). The PPR component is conducted with NASS-only funding to gather field crop chemical use data. The PPCR is co-funded by a cooperative agreement with the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). The PPCR component efficiently collects costs associated with the various production practices to complete the cost of production estimates for ARMS targeted crop commodities. The ARMS Phase 2-PPCR efficiently collects detailed cropping practice and cost data by focusing on field-level and expanding to whole farm, thus greatly reducing respondent burden while maintaining accuracy of reported data. NASS will continue to reuse these data enabling NASS to produce some chemical use estimates at appropriate geographic level(s) based on extent of coverage.  

ARMS Phase 3 (under a separate information collection request) is the economic phase, in which we collect data related to the costs and returns for both the whole farm and for specific commodities raised on each farm. The data from these three phases are combined to give a complete representation of whole farm data. If full funding is provided each year, NASS plans to follow the rotation schedule found in items 12 and 16 below.

The Fruit and Vegetable Chemical Use Surveys are conducted on a rotational basis. Projected funding for the next three years has allowed for the reinstatement of the annual rotation.

Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Ag_Resource_Management/
NASS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202402-0535-003 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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