Home » USDA to gauge financial well-being of Kentucky farmers

USDA to gauge financial well-being of Kentucky farmers

Young farmer in soybean fields

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Beginning in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers across Kentucky, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2018 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

“ARMS is the only survey that measures the current financial well-being of Kentucky producers and their households,” said David Knopf, director, Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Farmers indicate that net income is under pressure from rising expenses and flat, or declining, commodity prices. This is the opportunity for producers to have that information measured. The results of this survey will help inform decisions on local and federal policies and programs that affect Kentucky farms and farm families.”

To obtain the most accurate data, NASS will contact more than 30,000 producers nationwide, including 725 in Kentucky, from January to March. Producers will be asked to provide in-depth information about their production costs, operating revenues and household characteristics. The 2018 survey includes versions focused on soybean, and cattle and calf sector costs and returns.

“We realize that this survey is lengthy and some producers may have questions,” explained Knopf. “In February, our interviewers will begin reaching out to those farmers who have not yet responded to answer any questions they may have and help them fill out their questionnaires.”

In addition to producing accurate information, NASS has strong safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality of all farmers who respond to its surveys. The agency will only publish data in an aggregate form only, ensuring the confidentiality of all responses and that no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

The expense data gathered in ARMS will be published in the Farm Production Expenditures report on August 2, 2019. That report and others are available at www.nass.usda.gov. More reports based on ARMS data are available at www.ers.usda.gov/arms.