The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the next several months contacting farmers and ranchers across the nation to conduct 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.

“ARMS is our primary tool for gauging the financial condition and production practices on American farms and ranches,” said Vic Tolomeo, director, USDA-NASS California Field Office. “By participating in this survey, California farmers and ranchers directly impact the decisions that affect them, their families and their operations.”

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 35,000 producers nationwide, including approximately 2,400 in California in late December through mid-April.  Agricultural producers will be asked to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

“Decision makers from all facets of U.S. agriculture will use the collective information from ARMS to answer questions and make important decisions concerning the economic viability of American agriculture, the rural economy and other emerging issues,” explained Tolomeo.  “That’s why it is imperative for all California producers contacted by NASS to respond and help shape the future of U.S. agriculture.”

As with all NASS projects, ARMS information provided by respondents is confidential by law.  NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

Economic data gathered in ARMS will be published on August 2, 2012 in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report.  All NASS reports are available online at: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/ <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/> .  To obtain a copy of any completed report, call the NASS order desk at 1-800-727-9540.