Amidst ongoing concerns over the availability of grain supplies for food, fuel, feed and fiber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon measure U.S. farmers’ final 2008 production of small grains, including wheat, oats, barley and rye.

During the first two weeks of September, the Arizona Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact more than 500 producers statewide as part of the September Agricultural Survey, also known as the Crops/Stocks Survey. Results will provide the basis for official USDA estimates of 2008 acreage, yield and production for small grains.

“This is one of the most important surveys NASS conducts each year,” explained Steven Manheimer, director of the NASS Arizona Field Office. “Not only will we be gathering final data on 2008 small grains production, but we’ll also be collecting information on quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on farms statewide.”

“Especially in times as uncertain as these, such data is widely anticipated not only by farmers, but by their customers, international trading partners, policymakers and many others,” Manheimer noted.

NASS will contact selected Arizona producers by mail or telephone and ask them to provide information on their 2008 production and on-farm stocks of wheat and barley. As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law.

“NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” Manheimer said.

Survey results will be published in several reports, including the annual Small Grains summary and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on September 30. These and all NASS reports are available on the agency’s web site.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Arizona Field Office at 1-800-645-7286.