SACRAMENTO, — Agricultural producers in 36 states will be contacted for USDA's Commercial Floriculture Survey at the beginning of 2005.

This survey, conducted in January and February by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), will produce reliable data on key items such as area of production, products sold and value of sales. Floriculture industry leaders encourage growers to participate, knowing it is crucial to have accurate statistics for the industry.

NASS works with growers and producers to provide meaningful, accurate and objective statistics that help keep U.S. agricultural industries informed. Growers gain important benefits from providing their responses to this survey. The results are official USDA estimates and will help ensure information is available to the public and the industry on commercial floriculture production. Summarized results help measure the economic contribution of the floriculture industry to the U.S. economy and will provide accurate industry statistics that will be crucial to obtaining research funding and government support on various issues.

"We safeguard the confidentiality of all survey responses," said Vic Tolomeo of the California Agricultural Statistics Service. "Data from individual operations are combined with other responses to produce agricultural statistics. We do not disclose any data about an individual operation."

Results from the Commercial Floriculture Survey are scheduled for release in April 2005. All agricultural statistics published by NASS are available at www.usda.gov/nass/.