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USDA will collect production data from hemp farmers



Photo: Laura Ramos | cannareporter

As Federal Agricultural Authorities of the United States of America (USDA) plan rcollect production data from thousands of American farmers. The information collected by the agency will essentially relate to agronomic production data, as well as the areas used by each farmer.

America sees, after 2018, an increase in the number of hemp farmers, due to its inclusion in the Farm Bill. Information regarding the request for permission to collect data on hemp production sent to the White House by the United States Department of Agriculture can be found in a warning in the Federal Register, published late last month. While the type of data the USDA is planning to collect is still unclear, the agency said it expects about 20.000 responses from hemp growers, based on a list of hemp growers being developed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. (NASS).

Per the notice, the data will be collected by the authority of the Domestic Hemp Production Program, administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). NASS management met with representatives from the AMS, as well as the USDA Economic Research Service, Agricultural Services Agency, Risk Management Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, to determine the type of data needed and the frequency of the collections.

The plans will consist of sending questionnaires by post and will use “various correspondence and internet data collection tools, accompanied by actions over the phone” and face-to-face approaches will be limited, for those who do not respond, in order to increase participation. The public notice invites comments on why the information is needed and best practices for collecting this information, by 26 April.

The USDA's data collection bureau, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, is also sending out "content tests" to farmers this spring as it prepares for the 2022 Agricultural Census, which will include hemp farmers for the first time. .


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