What crops do farmers intend to plant this growing season? Will corn acreage surpass last year? What about cotton and peanut acreage in 2008? These are just a few of the critical questions the Georgia field Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be asking more than 1,500 producers statewide as part of the March Agricultural Survey.

“The March Agricultural Survey is one of the most important surveys conducted each year by NASS,” explains Doug Kleweno, director of the NASS Georgia Field Office.” This survey will provide the first official estimates of U.S. farmers’ planting intentions for 2008, providing a glimpse at the upcoming growing season.

“Data from the March Agricultural Survey benefit farmers and ranchers by providing timely and accurate information to help them make critical decisions for their operation. When producers finalize their cropping and marketing plans, this survey will be one of the most important sources of information for them,” added Kleweno.

Beginning at the end of February, NASS will contact selected Georgia producers by mail or telephone and ask them to provide information on the crop acreage they intend to plant for 2008, including planned cotton and peanut acreage. NASS will also collect data on quantities of grains and oilseed stored on-farm.

The information will be compiled and analyzed the published in a series of USDA reports, including the annual Prospective Plantings report and quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on March 31.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” Kleweno said.

All reports are available on the NASS Web site at www.nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Georgia Field Office at 1-800-253-4419.