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USDA to Study Crop Production Practices
Michigan Ag Connection - 08/09/2017

A sample of winter wheat and soybean growers across Michigan will soon be contacted by the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region to participate in Phase II of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

Conducted annually in the fall, ARMS II is USDA's primary source of information on production practices for select commodities. This year it focuses on nutrient and fertilizer use, conservation tillage, and pest management practices for wheat and soybean production. Wheat will include items used to estimate the total costs and returns for wheat production.

NASS will conduct personal interviews with over 9,000 farm operators nationwide, including 350 in Michigan. They will be asked to provide information on their fertilizer, nutrient and pesticide applications, as well as their pest management and irrigation practices.

"This is the second phase of ARMS, where we focus on production practices and costs. This year, we are looking at winter wheat and soybeans," said Marlo Johnson, director of the Michigan Field Office. "During the third phase of the survey, in early 2017, we will follow up with some producers to obtain additional economic data."

While ARMS is a lengthy and complex survey, its importance cannot be underestimated, according to Johnson. "Virtually every federal farm program and policy is based on ARMS data," she said. "Conservation programs, price support programs, risk management programs, research programs -- you name it. All of them rely on information generated through this survey. That's why it's so important that farmers take the time to participate and ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date information, straight from the source."

Johnson assures ARMS participants that the confidentiality of their responses is protected by law. "NASS strictly safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only state and national data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified," she said.

For more information about ARMS and other surveys conducted by NASS, contact the Great Lakes Regional Office at 1-800-453-7501.

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