Ramsey: Survey is the 'broadest picture we have of nutrient stewardship happening in Illinois.'
NASS mailed surveys to 1,096 randomly selected farmers to assess nutrient strategies related to the statewide NLRS. Survey mailings were the first of January and will occur again Feb. 1. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)
By Kay Shipman
Farmers should check their mailboxes for a key survey that will capture stewardship practices in Illinois.
The National Agricultural Statistics Survey (NASS) mailed surveys to 1,096 randomly selected farmers to assess nutrient strategies. Survey mailings, which were supposed to go out the first of January and again Feb. 1, have been delayed due to the government shutdown.
“Participation in this NASS survey is extremely important for Illinois farmers so we can show progress over time with regards to nutrient loss,” said Lyndsey Ramsey, Illinois Farm Bureau associate director of natural and environmental resources. “It’s the broadest picture we have of nutrient stewardship happening in Illinois, and allows the state to capture what is happening outside of agency program acres and dollars.”
Survey questions seek information on nutrient strategies related to the statewide Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). The goal is to assess farmers’ ongoing progress statewide toward strategy goals.
The Illinois Nutrient Education Council is funding the survey, which is similar to a 2016 survey that established a baseline of conservation practices and nutrient management.
“Farmers are familiar with NASS,” Ramsey noted. “It’s a reliable, unbiased source of data that feeds into the state’s next biennial NLRS report, which goes to the Hypoxia Task Force, and ultimately, Congress.”
All survey responses will be confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Survey results will be published in totals and averages.
Selected survey recipients will represent farmers statewide and are encouraged to complete the surveys and return them in the prepaid envelopes.
“This survey allows us to statistically show which practices are being used on the ground,” Ramsey said.