With the 2011 growing season now in full swing, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the first two weeks of June surveying 2,000 farmers across Alabama to get a clear indication of the production and supply of major commodities for the year.

The information provided will be compiled into one publicly accessible report while maintaining confidentiality of individual farmer.

 “In March, U.S. farmers reported they have planted or intend to plant more acres of corn, wheat and cotton this crop season and fewer acres of soybeans. Now with most of the crop actually in the ground, we are reaching out to producers to find out what they actually planted,” said William Weaver, director of the NASS Alabama Field Office.

During June, NASS will conduct a survey to determine what crops have been planted and what commodities are in storage. This information will provide a comprehensive picture of how things are shaping up in 2011 for the U.S. agriculture industry.

“For this survey, we contact producers either by mail, phone or personal visit. They also have the option of responding via the internet. We ask them to provide information on their total acreage, acres planted to specific commodities — including biotech varieties, and quantities of grains and oilseeds stored on-farm,” said Weaver.

This information is a critical component of several key national reports, including the annual Acreage report and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on June 30. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s monthly and annual Crop Production reports and various other crop and livestock-related publications, including USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

 “In these challenging economic times, farmers and the rest of the agricultural industry need timely, accurate data on the current state of U.S. agricultural production,” Weaver said. “The information collected through our mid-year survey can help producers, suppliers, traders, buyers, export customers and others make sound and informed business decisions.”

 “I want to encourage farmers to participate in the NASS mid-year survey," stated Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan.

“The results of this survey have a significant impact on decisions made by government policy makers, including the USDA Farm Services Agency. These results help government agencies determine needed support payments and disaster assistance. “