USDA to Survey Sheep and Goat Operations
Call it a “census of sheep people.”
Later this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin a process to measure sheep and goat inventories and wool and mohair production during a nationwide survey.
“Interest in sheep and goat data continues to grow with increased diversification in agriculture and consumer demands,” said Joseph Prusacki, NASS National Operations Division Director. “The Sheep and Goat Survey gives producers the opportunity to report the latest information on conditions and trends in the industry.”
Beginning in late December, operators surveyed will be asked to provide information about their sheep and goat inventories, counts of lambs and kids born during 2014, and production and prices received for wool and mohair.
NASS will contact about 23,000 operations nationwide to request their responses to the survey.
“Accurate data on sheep and goat inventory and production is a critical decision-making tool for USDA and the industry in order to be more responsive to domestic and international markets and consumer needs,” Prusacki said. “The information can also help create public appreciation for the many benefits of U.S. sheep and goats and their products,” added Prusacki.
To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding via the Internet, telephone, mail, or a personal interview with a local NASS representative.
Prusacki noted that, as is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law.
“NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified,” he said.
NASS will publish the survey results January 30, 2015, in the Sheep and Goats report. This and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.
For more information, call the NASS Ag Statistics Hotline at (800) 727-9540.