USDA to Measure Financial Well-Being of Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers

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USDA to Measure Financial Well-Being of Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers

Beginning in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend several months gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across Nebraska, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2021 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

“ARMS is the only survey that measures the current financial well-being of Nebraska producers and their households as a whole,” said Nick Streff, director of NASS’s Northern Plains Region. “The results of this survey will help inform decisions on local and federal policies and programs that affect Nebraska farms and farm families.”

In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, NASS will reach out to more than 30,000 producers nationwide, including 1,700 in Nebraska, between the months of December and April. The survey asks producers to provide in-depth information about their operating revenues, production costs and household characteristics. The 2021 ARMS survey includes a version of the questionnaire focused on farm costs and returns for standard and organic dairy, and corn. This year the survey also includes questions to help measure any impacts of COVID-19 on farms, farm and household finances, and off-farm employment.

“In February, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded,” Streff said. “We appreciate their time and are here to help them with the questionnaire so that their information will continue supporting sound agricultural decision-making.”

In addition to producing accurate information, NASS has strong safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality of all farmers who respond to its surveys. The agency will only publish data in an aggregate form, ensuring the confidentiality of all responses and that no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The expense data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on July 29, 2022. That report and others are available on the USDA NASS website. More reports based on ARMS data and more information about ARMS are available on the USDA Economic Research Service site.

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