The Minnesota NASS Field Office held a successful and productive workshop in Bloomington, Minnesota on October 13-15, 2010 to prepare for the ARMS II (Agricultural Resource Management Survey). More than 45 NASDA enumerators, including 5 Supervisors, attended the session. NASDA’s NASS Program Director Charlie Ingram also participated in the workshop activities.
The ARMS is an important NASS survey collected in 3 phases and is used to understand factors in producing food and fiber products while maintaining the long term viability of the natural resource base. ARMS Phase II is conducted from October through December. Data collected by NASDA enumerators on behalf of NASS include: agricultural production practices, resource use, and costs of production for specific commodities. For example, farm operators provide data on fertilizer and nutrient applications, pesticide applications, pest management practices, and irrigation.
NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) publish several reports using ARMS data, including “Agricultural Chemical Usage-Field Crops” and “Commodity Production Costs and Returns.”ARMS data is also used to provide the farm sector portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the Nation.
On Thursday, October 14, the NASS MN Field Office (FO) team did a great job of getting the workshop underway. Craig Anderson, Survey Group Leader, reviewed the agenda and made introductions. Erik Gerlach, Survey Manager, provided an overview and explained sections of ARMS II. Nick Wielend, Ag Statistician, reviewed other sections of the survey. Dan Lofthus, MN FO Deputy Director, explained the County Ag Production Survey section. During the afternoon session, NASDA Supervisors held survey practice exercises with their enumerator teams. After the workshop, a reception/buffet gave the NASS and NASDA teams the opportunity to visit and network. On Friday, October 15, MN FO Director Doug Hatwig enthusiastically shared his perspectives on the importance of the ARMS II work and thanked the NASS FO staff, NASDA Supervisors and Enumerators for their hard work.