J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 28 POTATO GROWER People, Product News USDA NASS to Collect 2018 Crop Production And Stocks Data As the 2018 growing season comes to an end, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact pro- ducers nationwide to gather final year-end crop production num- bers and the amount of grain and oilseeds stored on their farms. At the same time, NASS will survey grain facility opera- tors to determine year-end off- farm grain and oilseed stocks. "These surveys are the largest and most important year-end surveys conducted by NASS," explained NASS's North Dakota State Statistician Darin Jantzi. "They are the basis for the offi- cial USDA estimates of produc- tion and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the United States and grain and oilseed supplies. Data from the survey will benefit farmers and processors by providing timely and accurate information to help them make crucial year- end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing and marketing season." "Responses to the survey will be used in calculating county-level yields which have a direct impact on farmers around the State. USDA's Farm Service Agency uses the data in adminis- tering producer programs such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) included in the 2014 Farm Bill, and in determining disaster assistance program calculations," said Jantzi. "NASS cannot pub- lish a county yield unless it receives enough reports from producers in that county to make a statistically defensible estimate. So, it is very important that producers respond to this survey. In 2017, NASS was unable to publish several large producing counties due to an insufficient number of respons- es." "As required by Federal law, all responses are completely confi- dential," Jantzi continued. "We safeguard the privacy of all respondents, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. Individual responses are also exempt from the Freedom of Information Act." Survey results will be published in several reports, including the Crop Production Annual Summary and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on January 11. These and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.