Water is a source of life and USDA is giving Iowa farmers a chance to report on their stewardship of this precious resource. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, or NASS, is currently conducting a Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey to gauge on-farm water use and irrigation practices in the state of Iowa.
"This survey provides the only comprehensive information on irrigation activities and water use and Iowa producers themselves stand to benefit the most from this survey," says Greg Thessen, director of the NASS Iowa field office in Des Moines. "By providing comprehensive information on irrigation activities and water use on their farms, producers will help in the development of improved technology, better equipment and more efficient water use practices."
The survey also includes an additional focus on nursery and horticultural operations. NASS will collect information about irrigation water use during 2013, including application methods, equipment, facilities, expenditures, crop acreage and yield.
In early January NASS mailed the irrigation survey to 625 producers in Iowa, with responses due back by February 10, 2014. As is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is protected by law, says Thessen. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified.
Only those producers who indicated they use irrigation when they filled out the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, will receive the survey. As part of the U.S. Ag Census program, the irrigation survey participation is mandatory with accordance to U.S. law.
For more information about the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, call 888-424-7828 or visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
"NASS provides accurate, timely, useful and objective statistics in service to U.S. agriculture," says Thessen. "The agency invites you to express your thoughts and provide occasional feedback on our products and services by joining a data user community. To join, sign in at usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/subscriptions and look for "NASS Data User Community."