December 22, 2016


Dairy sector is focus of USDA resource management survey



The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin collecting data from dairy farms in January for the final phase of the 2016 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), it was announced.


NASS said it will visit selected dairy farms across the nation, which have been notified by a mailed postcard. After that, trained enumerators will make appointments and visit the participating farms to gather the information through personal interviews. These visits will begin in late January and will continue through early April.


The survey is an annual programme that gathers in-depth information on production practices, costs, and financial well-being of American farm families. ARMS targets select commodities on a rotational basis.


This year, the survey places additional focus on conventional and organic dairy sectors, as well as on corn. The last time ARMS focused on the dairy sector was in 2010 and focused only on the conventional sector. This will be the first time ARMS will add focus on the organic dairy production.


"The structure of dairy farming in the United States has changed dramatically over the last two decades, making these economic data more crucial than ever before", said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater. "The 2016 ARMS will help determine how recent policy changes have affected American dairy farms."


The results of the 2016 ARMS will help USDA and other policymakers analyse the impacts of the new Dairy Margin Protection Programme, which aims to help dairy producers when milk prices drop and feed prices remain high. USDA launched the programme in 2015, making the current survey crucial to measuring its initial effects. 

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