As 2007 ends, the Colorado Field Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, like its counterparts throughout the West, will be relying on producers to help gather year-end information.
How many acres of small grains, row crops, or hay have farmers produced this growing season? Have yields been above or below average? How much of these commodities do growers have stored on farms? These are just some of the critical questions NASS will be asking more than 1,500 growers statewide as part of the December Agricultural Survey.
The survey, also known as the Crops/Stocks Survey, "is the largest and most important year-end survey conducted by the NASS, says Renee Picanso, director of the service's Colorado field office.
It is the basis for the official USDA estimates of production and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the U.S.
"With new agricultural trends emerging and a potential record-setting crop year, data from the December survey will benefit farmers by providing timely and accurate information to help them make critical year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing season," says Picanso.
During the first two weeks of this month, NASS will contact selected Colorado producers by mail or telephone and ask them to provide information on their 2007 production and on-farm stocks of whole grain corn, sorghum grain, barley, all types of wheat, oats and hay. The information will be compiled and analyzed, then published in a series of USDA reports, including the annual Crop Production Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on Jan. 11, 2008.