USDA to collect final 2018 crop production and crop stocks data

Dover, Del. – As the 2018 growing season officially comes to an end, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact producers in Delaware to gather final year-end crop production numbers and the amount of grain and oilseeds they store on their farms. At the same time, NASS will survey grain facility operators to determine year-end grain and oilseed stocks.

“These surveys are the largest and most important year-end surveys conducted by NASS,” explained NASS Delaware State Statistician Dale P. Hawks. “They are the basis for the official USDA estimates of production and harvested acres of all major agricultural commodities in the United States and year-end grain and oilseed supplies. Data from the survey will benefit farmers and processors by providing timely and accurate information to help them make critical year-end business decisions and begin planning for the next growing and marketing season.”

NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the Crop Production Annual Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks reports, both to be released Friday, January 11, 2019.

“Responses to the producer survey will also be included in the County Agricultural Production Survey and used in calculating county yields,” explained Hawks. “USDA uses county yield information from the survey to evaluate and administer vital farm disaster and insurance programs. Farmers who receive this survey are not included in the County Agricultural Production Survey; therefore this is their only opportunity to be included in the calculation of Delaware’s county yields.”

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential, as required by federal law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. All NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/. For more information call the NASS Delaware Field Office at (800) 282-8685.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4500, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov


Delaware requests emergency declaration from USDA for crop damage due to recent storms

DOVER, Del. — Too much rain at the wrong time, like Delaware experienced in April and May, has destroyed several high dollar crops and threatens the yield of many others, leaving farmers to wonder what the future holds. In surveying the state and listening to farmers, Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse made a request for an emergency disaster declaration two weeks ago to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Service Center.

“Delaware family farms are the backbone of our economy, making agriculture our number one industry,” said Governor Carney. “Farming is hard no matter what – but when you get hit with the weather we have seen this spring, and the damage it has done to our fruit and vegetable crops, our grains, and our hay – it has a huge impact on our farmers, our communities, and the state as a whole.”

Once a request for a declaration is made, the FSA staff begins official surveys of the status of current crops at the state and county level. These reports are then compiled, reviewed, and sent on to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. In order to be eligible for this declaration, Delaware has to have at least 30 percent loss in crop production for at least one crop.

“It is impossible for Delaware farmers to come out of this without emergency assistance,” said Scuse. “Many of our fruit and vegetable farms have taken a beating and other crops definitely will not be able to reach optimal yields. We have farmers who are trying to plant field corn for the third and fourth time. That’s a lot of money invested in seed and when the bill arrives they are going to need help paying it.”

The state has three months from the last day of the disaster to file a declaration request to USDA.

The benefit of an emergency disaster declaration is it gives farmers time to apply and get an emergency loan. These loans help producers to recover from production and physical losses from the torrential rains and flooding in Delaware. Farmers have nine months to apply for the loans once USDA makes the official crop damage declaration, which provides them time to compile the paperwork and only apply for the funds they really need to borrow.

Once submitted, Delaware has to wait to learn if USDA will grant them the emergency declaration.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov