USDA to Take the Economic Pulse of U.S. Agriculture


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the next several months gathering production practices information from farmers across the nation through the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The results of this survey will serve as a baseline for numerous federal policies and programs that affect U.S. farms and farm families.
"It is hard to overestimate the impact the responses to ARMS can have, since this survey is the primary tool for federal, state and local government representatives and all major farm sector stakeholders to gauge the financial condition of American farms," said Gary Keough, director of the NASS New England Field Office. "By responding, New England farmers can ensure that they are accurately represented when it comes to decision-making."
NASS conducts ARMS jointly with USDA's Economic Research Service. In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, the federal agencies will reach out to nearly 33,000 producers nationwide, including 270 in New England, between February and April 2013. The survey asks the producers to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs, and household characteristics. 

"As you may know, NASS is currently also conducting the mandatory census of agriculture, which occurs every five years," explained Keough. "To make it easier on these farmers, responding to ARMS fulfills the growers' 2012 census of agriculture obligations."
As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified. 
The economic data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on August 2, 2013. All NASS reports are available online at