Dec 27, 2018
USDA conducting two new studies on irrigation practices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two special studies as part of the 2017 Census of Agriculture to collect more detailed information on aquaculture and irrigation practices in U.S. agriculture.

On Dec. 17, NASS mailed the 2018 Census of Aquaculture to all farmers who indicated on their 2017 Census of Agriculture forms that they produce and sell aquaculture products. Results from this survey will help provide current and comprehensive industry-specific data at the state and national levels, including production volume and methods, surface water acres and sources, sales and more. Federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, and producers use the information to make informed decisions that can impact the sustainability and growth of the U.S. aquaculture industry. The deadline for producers to respond is Jan. 14.

On Jan. 3, NASS will mail the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey, formerly called the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, to a sample of producers who reported irrigation practices on their 2017 Census of Agriculture forms. The survey provides the only comprehensive information on irrigation activities and water use across U.S. farms, ranches, and horticultural operations. When responding to this survey, producers will be asked to provide information on topics such as water sources and the amount of water used, acres irrigated by type of system, irrigation and yield by crop, and system investments and energy costs. The results of this survey will aid efforts to develop and promote efficient irrigation practices and long-term sustainability of water resources. The deadline to complete the survey is Feb. 15.

Producers can respond to these questionnaires online, by mail or by phone. The online questionnaire has timesaving features such as automatic calculations and the convenience of being accessible on mobile and desktop devices. As part of the Census of Agriculture Program, these special studies are conducted once every five years with federal law (Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113) requiring all those who receive a form to participate. The information collected is completely confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only. To prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation, NASS will only publish tabulated totals.

Results of both the 2018 Census of Aquaculture and the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey are scheduled for release in fall 2019 at For additional information, visit


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