Chad Smith, NAFB News Service
A new report from the American Farm Bureau lays out several recommendations to improve the way the National Agricultural Statistics Service collects surveys and reports data. It also gives recommendations to improve accuracy and farmer confidence in the survey results. The USDA-NASS Working Group made up of 10 farmer-members, spent over four months looking at the processes and methodologies that USDA-NASS uses to put farmer survey data into monthly reports. The recommendations include increasing transparency on how the agency arrives at the numbers reported and providing clarity on the relationship between aggregate, state, and field-level reported numbers. Farm Bureau would also like to see the agency accelerate its adoption of new and innovative technologies. Farm Bureau also wants to work closely with NASS in a variety of ways, including working to encourage farmers’ accurate and timely participation in NASS data collection. “We hope the work done by this group will provide a framework for USDA to make timelier adjustments to these key reports and restore trust in the data we’ve relied on for a long time,” says AFB President Zippy Duvall.