The Arizona field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct its annual December Agricultural Survey, also called the Crops/Stocks Survey, of some Arizona farmers and ranchers by mail and phone in early December. NASS' questions will address total acreage, acres planted and harvested, total yield and production.

According to Steven Manheimer, director of the NASS Arizona Field Office, “This survey provides the official USDA data on production and harvested acres of major agricultural commodities including cotton, corn and alfalfa hay.” All sectors of the agricultural industry rely on NASS acreage, production, and stocks estimates to help make sound business decisions, he said.

“The survey data also benefits farmers and ranchers by providing a level playing field. You will have access to the same information at the same time as elevators, input suppliers, bankers, and others with whom you do business,” he added. “Knowing the 2006 production and stocks of the nation's corn crop also is of special interest to producers because of the recent increase in the corn demand for ethanol production.”

A small number of Arizona producers will be contacted by mail or telephone during the first two weeks of December. NASS will also collect data on quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm.

The information will be compiled and analyzed with the information collected from more than 77,000 producers nationwide and published in a series of USDA reports beginning Jan. 12, 2007.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. “NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses and publishes only state and national level data ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” stated Manheimer. All reports are available on the NASS Web site at www.nass.usda.gov.

For more information on NASS Arizona surveys and reports, call the Arizona field office at (800) 645-7286.