USDA to Measure the Financial Health of American Farms

Dan Cattle, Field & Row Crops, Industry News Release

Starting in January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is contacting farmers and ranchers across the nation to conduct the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). This survey gives farmers and ranchers an opportunity to provide accurate, real-world data that will help shape the policies, programs and issues that affect them.

“ARMS asks a small, but representative, sample of farmers about their operation in order to understand the current financial state of U.S. agriculture,” said Chris Messer, Director of the Pacific Regional Office. “Government and agriculture leaders use the information to make sound decisions that impact the future of farmers, their families, their businesses, and their communities, making ARMS results crucial to California and U.S. agriculture.”

NASS will gather information through early spring. To obtain the most accurate data, NASS will reach out to nearly 40,000 producers nationwide, including 2,375 in California. The survey asks producers to provide data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics.

“Farm organizations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other government agencies, members of Congress, and state and local officials use the information from ARMS to answer questions and make important decisions concerning the economic viability of American agriculture, the rural economy and other emerging issues,” explained Messer.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the confidentiality of all responses, ensuring no individual respondent or operation can be identified.

NASS will publish the economic data gathered in ARMS in the annual Farm Production Expenditures report on August 4, 2016. All NASS reports are available online at