USDA to Gauge Financial Well-Being of Farmers and Ranchers

Dan Economy, Industry News Release, USDA-NASS


Beginning in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend several months gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2018 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

“ARMS is the only survey that measures the current financial well-being of producers and their households as a whole,” said Jim Ewing, director of the NASS Southern Region. “The results of this survey will help inform decisions on local and federal policies and programs that affect farms and farm families.”

In an effort to obtain the most accurate data, NASS will reach out to more than 30,000 producers nationwide, between January and March. The survey asks producers to provide in-depth information about their operating revenues, production costs and household characteristics. The 2018 survey includes versions focused on soybean, and cattle and calf sector costs and returns.

“We realize that this survey is lengthy and some producers may have questions,” explained Ewing. “In February, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded to answer any questions they may have and help them fill out their questionnaires.”

In addition to producing accurate information, NASS has strong safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality of all farmers who respond to its surveys. The agency will publish data in an aggregate form only, ensuring the confidentiality of all responses and that no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The expense data gathered in ARMS will be published in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on Aug. 2, 2019. That report and others are available at More reports based on ARMS data and more information about ARMS is available at

Source: USDA/NASS-Southern Region Office