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USDA Surveys Getting A Snapshot Of Farmland Ownership

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has sent surveys to learn more about the challenges of land ownership. Manager of the NASS Economic and Environmental Survey Section Shiela Corley says the total survey asks a variety of questions.

“It’s going to producers and also to land owners so we’re seeking information on land owner income,  debt, assets, demographics, landlord characteristics, so we can begin to look at the picture of what land ownership looks like for agriculture. We do this survey every ten years so the last time we did it was in 1998 so it’s clearly time for us to get this information out and updated so we have a better picture of what land ownership looks like for farmers in the U.S.”

Eighty-thousand surveys have been mailed out. Corley says that’s a much larger sample size than NASS surveys usually use.

“We normally always survey producers at the beginning of January and get information on income, debt, expenses and that sample size is usually around 30,000. But because this data is so important and we only get it every ten years we actually bumped the sample size up and we’re going to publish in 25 states and normally we only publish in 15 and do a U.S. total. So for this year, we’re going to have a lot more information available but with that comes an increased sample size.”

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