Thursday, December 20, 2018

USDA seeks info on aquaculture and irrigation practices

If you irrigate your crops or sell aquaculture products, Uncle Sam wants your input. In fact, he requires it. The Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting two studies as follow-ups to the 2017 Census of Agriculture to get more detailed info on irrigation and aquaculture practices.

The 2018 Census of Aquaculture was mailed Dec. 17 to farmers who said on their 2017 Census of Agriculture forms that they produced and and sold more than $1,000 aquaculture products such as baitfish, food fish, crustaceans and mollusks. That doesn't include wild-caught aquatic products.

The Census of Aquaculture was last conducted in 2013 and 2005; it provides industry-specific data for government, agribusiness, trade association, and producer stakeholders to make decisions about the aquaculture industry's sustainability and growth. Response to the survey is mandatory, and all individual information will be kept confidential. The deadline to respond is Jan. 14.

On Jan. 3, NASS will mail the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey (formerly called the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey) to a sample of producers who reported on the 2017 Census of Agriculture that they irrigate crops. The survey is the only comprehensive source of information about U.S. irrigation practices, and response is mandatory. All individual information will be kept confidential, and the deadline to respond is Feb. 15.

Producers can respond to the questionnaires online, by mail, or by phone. The results for both studies are scheduled for release in fall 2019. Visit the Census of Agriculture page for more information.

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