The North Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting the 2003 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey through February 2004.

Approximately 500 of the state’s irrigated farms are being asked to provide information about their irrigation practices.

"This survey gives participants an opportunity to show how they use water responsibly to produce an abundant food supply for America," says Bob Murphy, North Carolina state ag statistician.

The agency strives to provide reliable data on farm irrigation. Accurate and complete responses from farmers and ranchers will provide important information to help industry representatives, leaders and planners chart the best course for the future of on-farm irrigation.

Farm operators selected to participate will receive a report form late this month. Every response is held confidential by law and is used only in combination with all other responses to produce state and national summarized totals.

Results from the survey are scheduled for release in fall of 2004.

According to the 1998 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, 134,468 acres were irrigated statewide.

"Results from this survey will be used to develop irrigation practices that improve productivity for producers, their families and their communities," Murphy says. "The 2003 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey is one way that the North Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service and producers work together to provide meaningful, accurate and objective statistical information on irrigation."