NASS announced this week the start of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey; better known as ARMS. Data will be collected from approximately 50,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide. The survey looks at all aspects of U.S. agricultural production, the well-being of farm households, farm finances, chemical usage, and various farm production characteristics. The survey also collects detailed information on production practices, costs, and returns for different commodities on a rotating basis.

In 2020, the survey will take a closer look at corn, rice, soybean, hog and pig production in the United States.

At this time NASS has suspended in-person data collection. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their survey on the USDA's Website, using the 17-digit survey code that was mailed to them.


“Data from ARMS are used to gauge the financial health and resource use of today’s farmers,” said Barbara Rater, director of NASS Census and Survey Division. “The information gives us an annual snapshot of the role of the farming industry in the U.S. economy.”

The information producers provide through the survey influences national and state policy-making decisions. In addition, ARMS data are used to calculate the farm sector portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is an important measure of the U.S. economy.

The survey is conducted in three phases from May 2020 through April 2021. The current (first) phase screens participants to make sure they have the commodities of interest that are needed to accurately represent the entire U.S. farm sector. During the second phase, NASS will collect information on production practices and chemical use for specific commodities. In the final phase, NASS will survey producers on farm income and production expenditures.

“We strongly encourage every producer contacted for ARMS to participate, as their response represents not just their own farm, but many other similar operations across the country,” added Rater. “To make responding as safe and convenient as possible, the survey should be completed online. Online reporting is fast and secure. Producers can also complete and mail or fax the paper form to us.”

All information from respondents is kept confidential, as required by federal law, and reported so that no individual operation or producer can be identified.

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