It’s that time of year again, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) prepares to contact producers nationwide to gather final year-end production numbers.

With soybean and corn production forecast at record and near-record level highs, respectively, it’s vital for farmers to respond to the December Agricultural Survey to determine if these expectations were realized.

“The December Agricultural Survey is the largest and most critical year-end survey conducted by NASS,” explained Bill Weaver, director of the NASS Alabama Field Office. “This survey is the basis for the official USDA estimates of production and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the United States.

“Although dry weather affected crop production in Alabama, the U.S is having a potentially record-setting crop year; data from the December Agricultural Survey will benefit farmers by providing timely and accurate information to help them make critical year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing season,” added Weaver.

During the first two weeks of December, NASS will contact selected Alabama producers by mail or telephone and ask them to provide information on their 2010 production and on-farm stocks of corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. The information will be compiled and analyzed and then published in a series of USDA reports, including the annualCrop Production summary and quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released on Jan. 12, 2011.

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

All reports are available on the NASS web site: