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May 17, 2011   Email to Friend 

May 17, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Farmers who take a survey administered by the USDA this June will help provide important information to government agencies and other Alabama producers.

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the first two weeks of June surveying 2,000 farmers across Alabama to get a clear indication of the production and supply of major commodities for the year.

The information provided will be compiled into one publicly accessible report while maintaining the confidentiality of individual farmers.

"In March, U.S. farmers reported that they have planted or intend to plant more acres of corn, wheat and cotton this crop season and fewer acres of soybeans," said William Weaver, director of the NASS Alabama Field Office. "Now, with most of the crop actually in the ground, we are reaching out to producers to find out what they actually planted."

The June survey will help determine what crops have been planted and what commodities are in storage, and this information will provide a comprehensive picture of how things are shaping up in 2011 for the U.S. agriculture industry.

"For this survey, we contact producers either by mail, phone or personal visit," Weaver said. "They also have the option of responding via the Internet. We ask them to provide information on their total acreage, acres planted to specific commodities--including biotech varieties and quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm."

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan said he encourages farmers to participate in the NASS mid-year survey.

"The results of this survey have a significant impact on decisions made by government policy makers, including the USDA Farm Services Agency," McMillan said. "These results help government agencies determine needed support payments and disaster assistance."

The information obtained from the survey is a critical component of several key national reports, including the annual Acreage report and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released June 30.

Survey data will also contribute to NASS's monthly and annual Crop Production reports and various other crop and livestock-related publications, including USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

"In these challenging economic times, farmers and the rest of the agricultural industry need timely, accurate data on the current state of U.S. agricultural production," Weaver said. "The information collected through our mid-year survey can help producers, suppliers, traders, buyers, export customers and others make sound and informed business decisions."

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