USDA is calling on nearly 50,000 cattle operations nationwide to report the latest and most accurate data on cattle inventories and calf production. "The January Cattle Survey provides Iowa producers the opportunity to serve as the frontline source of data on cattle" says Greg Thessen director of the Iowa office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
"In Iowa, we'll be contacting about 2,200 operations in order to measure trends in beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop and the total number of cattle on feed in the state," says Thessen. To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate, NASS offers the option of responding via telephone, mail, online or personal interview with a local NASS representative.
Producers urged to help provide accurate, comprehensive estimate
"However these selected producers choose to respond, by participating in our survey they are providing an important service to the cattle industry and to U.S. agriculture as a whole," says Thessen. "Their responses will be compiled with those of their fellow producers nationwide, providing the only accurate and comprehensive estimate of the state of U.S. cattle production."
The information is a critical decision-making tool for the cattle industry, he emphasizes. "For instance, the information gathered by the survey helps producers make informed marketing decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction. It also provides facts to help promote the entire cattle industry and helps packers and exporters evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export."
Information provided by respondents is confidential by law
Survey results will be published in NASS's Cattle report, on January 28, 2011. The report will provide national-level estimates of total inventory, beef cows, milk cows, bulls, replacement heifers, other heifers, steers, calves, cattle on feed in all feedlots and number of calves born during 2010. In addition, "NASS's Farms", "Land in Farms and Livestock Operations" report, published in February, will include national level data on the number of operations with cattle and calves, and percent of inventory by herd size.
As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all survey responses and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. All reports are available on the NASS web site www.nass.usda.gov.