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USDA to study wheat production practices

Wheat growers across the United States will soon be contacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to participate in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

"Virtually every federal farm program and policy is based on ARMS data," said Doug Rundle, director of the NASS Texas Field Office. "The information from ARMS reveals important links between what farmers produce and how they produce it, and the financial state of their production agriculture."

Conducted every fall, ARMS is USDA's primary source of information on production practices, resource use and the economic well-being of America's farm households. "Survey results help agricultural leaders and decision-makers better understand how operators cope with risk, adapt to policy changes, and make decisions about labor, new technologies and many other aspects of farming," added Rundle.

The 2009 ARMS will focus on wheat, including durum, spring, winter and, for the first time ever, organic wheat varieties. This will be the first time since 2004 that ARMS has focused on wheat production.

Beginning in September, NASS representatives will conduct personal interviews with nearly 5,000 wheat growers nationwide, including over 170 in Texas. Producers will be asked to provide information on their fertilizer, nutrient and pesticide applications, as well as their pest management and irrigation practices. In early 2010, NASS will follow up with some of the participants to obtain additional economic data.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes data only in aggregate form, ensuring that no individual operation or grower can be identified.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, visit www.nass.usda.gov, or call the NASS Texas Field Office at 1-800-626-3142.

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