Over the next several weeks, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey tens of thousands of growers about their 2013 planting intentions.

The survey results will help all participants in the agriculture sector determine what to expect this growing season after a drought-hampered 2012 season.

“The information we collect from producers during the first two weeks of March establishes a trend that we’re likely to see in the entire growing season,” said Bob Bass, NASS’ National Operations Division director. “This year, after a weather-plagued 2012 season, it’s more important than ever to understand planting intentions for this year.”

Most survey participants should already have received their questionnaires in the mail and can now respond via NASS’s secure website or by filling out and mailing the forms back.

Trained NASS interviewers will visit those who do not respond to answer any questions they may have and to help them fill out their survey forms.

NASS keeps all individual responses confidential.

The published reports will include only national and state aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operations can be identified.

(The Cotton Council has already completed its acreage survey and the results can be seen at Grower survey shows 9.01 million cotton acres in 2013).