Written by The Business Journal Staff
The 2015 Certified Organic Survey is underway and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is reminding California farmers and ranchers that it’s not too late to respond.
In early February, survey questionnaires were mailed nationwide to all known organic farms. Later this month, NASS will begin conducting telephone follow up with producers who have not yet responded.
Some farmers may also be selected for in-person interviews to assist with data collection efforts.
“Your participation is strongly encouraged,” said NASS’ Pacific Regional Office Director Chris Messer. “The 2015 Certified Organic Survey will provide vital data to assist farmers, suppliers, policymakers, as well as those in the private sector in planning the production and marketing of new programs and products to help sustain industry growth.
“For example, USDA’s Risk Management Agency will use the information to evaluate crop insurance coverage to help provide adequate pricing for organic producers in California,” Messer added.
The survey asks farmers to provide information on acreage, production and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities.
NASS is also gathering information about certified organic farmers’ marketing practices and transitional data. The agency urges all participants to respond. Producers can return their forms by mail or complete the survey online at www.agcounts.usda.gov.
“NASS has a long-standing reputation for providing objective, accurate data about all aspects of U.S. agriculture, but the only way for us to provide accurate reports is with farmers’ input,” Messer said. “This is a voluntary survey and I hope that all California farmers who have received it will recognize it as a way to benefit their industry and take the time to respond.”
For more information about the 2015 Certified Organic Survey visit