Market News & Headlines >> USDA to Survey Farmers on Conservation Practices

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be surveying farmers and ranchers now through February 2016 on their conservation practices as part of a multi-agency study of the environmental impacts of those practices on cultivated and non-cultivated agricultural lands.

The second National Resources Inventory – Conservation Effects Assessment Project  (NRI-CEAP-2) will gather field management data and conservation implementation information from scientifically-selected National Resources Inventory (NRI) points on farms and ranches nationwide. That information will be used to measure the environmental impacts associated with farm management and conservation practice implementation.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the lead agency for the collaborative project and NASS conducts the CEAP survey under a cooperative agreement with NRCS. “CEAP is a critical tool for quantifying the impacts of the good conservation work done by millions of farmers and ranchers partnering with USDA,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller in a news release. “Results from CEAP assessments help to shape USDA policies and practices that improve voluntary conservation delivery and the resulting benefits on the landscape.”

Trained by NASS, enumerators or surveyors from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) will interview approximately 23,500 farmers and ranchers in 2,150 counties throughout the continental U.S. to obtain field data for the NRI-CEAP-2 survey.

The enumerators will gather data on management and conservation practices such as cropping and tillage methods, pesticide and livestock manure applications, and other field activities, which will be used to evaluate changes that have occurred on the land since the first nationwide CEAP survey (NRI-CEAP-1), conducted in 2003-2006. The entire survey process will take two years. Some producers will be surveyed through February 2016, and the rest in the fall of 2016 through the winter of 2017.