The University of California and U.S. Department of Agriculture mailed surveys to 30,000 California farmers in late January to enlist their help in developing risk management tools for specialty crop producers. All farmers growing two or more acres of a specialty crop (five or more acres for tree fruits and nuts) were to receive the survey asking for information about their farming operations.

The study is designed to generate information relevant to policy design of federal crop insurance programs, especially for crops that have had little previous insurance data available.

“It's important that farmers complete the survey so better safety-net programs can be designed for their crops,” says UC Davis agricultural economist Hyunok Lee.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA will collect the data, and all individual data will be confidential, as required by law. Lee and Cooperative Extension economist Steven Blank will analyze the survey results for USDA. The UC Agricultural Issues Center will be involved in outreach activities.