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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

sooooooo where is usda actually counting.... 

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

I know, it was a rhetorical question, but USDA is "counting" and averaging the responses from their so-called key contacts, probably just somebody they call or get a report from in each FSA office who just guesstimates what percentage of the crop is planted in their respective county, nothing scientific about it, depends on what roads that person has driven the past week or so.  For example, I've heard that 100% of the corn is planted in my county, but I personally know they are wrong.

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Trying2Farm
Contributor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

I used to get calls all the time in the spring and fall from NASS. Same questions in the spring, same in the fall. Stuff like how many acres do you farm, own, rent. How many acres of each do you raise (corn, beans, etc). How many acres do you have planted, how many acres do you have harvested, how much storage, what do you have stored, etc. NASS would even have a guy out with a map on occasion and want to know what was planted in a particular field. I am not saying I flat out lied but I can tell you the answers were not accurate. I am sure I am not the only one that received phone calls and I am not the only one that may have given some bogus information. Everything on the reporting side seems to be a guess. Even last year when we were 100% complete on planting, there were several fields around that were not complete. Why these BTO's get a pass when my side of the road has 180bpa corn and on their side they were too busy to plant because the weather was not perfect is beyond me.
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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

Yep, I get those every year, spring and fall, sometimes at other times for other things, probably a half dozen from NASS just last year.  When the surveys are mailed out, I try to respond accurately to whatever I actually answer, and then ask them not to contact me for the rest.  After all, the survey responses are "voluntary".  When they call, I remind them that I have CHOSEN not to respond to a VOLUNTARY survey, if that is why they are calling.  When they show up at my house, I remind them they are uninvited, and that the public road is at the END of my driveway, not where he is parked.  My reactions were no sudden enlightenment, but a buildup of years of annoyances that culminated in "enough is enough", they can bother someone else.

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marketeye
Veteran Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

Trying2Farm,

 

How else do you propose that we get a handle on what is out there? And if this is the only widespread effort, by anybody, to collect data, isn't it disingenuous for farmers to not tell the truth?

 

Mike

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

I've my own ups and downs with the surveys over the years.  I think the key is to be honest in the survey responses, or to make no response at all.  Dishonest answers likely carry minimal potential penalties, yet they potentially distort the survey results since each survey response is a sample that represents a much larger area/acreage.  When they mail out the surveys, it gives us time to provide a more accurate response, if we choose to respond.  When they call and want an answer on the phone, it is both annoying and inaccurate.  When they just show up unannounced and uninvited at the farm, it is also both annoying (depending on the timing, especially when busy farming, weekends, or holidays) and often inaccurate.  I've even had NASS survey people drive around looking for me when I didn't even know they were coming, and they still expected answers to their questions right on the spot.  And, I've come upon NASS survey people with their own maps, looking at my fields while driving on roads that are not public roads.  AND, I interrupted a NASS survey person several years ago who didn't even stop at the house, just pulled his pickup right up to my grain bins, and was tapping on the sides of the bins to see how full they were.

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roarintiger1
Honored Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

I would gladly answer questions about my business IF it was going to help my business.   But when the information is used against me.......that's where the line is drawn in the sand.....or clay....or for that matter good, rich dirt.  Smiley Wink

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Trying2Farm
Contributor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

So Mike, I thought about your questions last night, I am not sure I have a real good answer. The tendency of the farmer is to try and help themselves, as with most any profession. If that means not being truthful on a survey, then I would think most are that way. Take the government reports, most do not believe what they are reporting except what is mandatory. It appears they are not always telling the truth and make the numbers what they want for their agenda or cheap food. If China can purchase 10 cargos today, cancel tomorrow and then rebuy cheaper on Monday because they “cancelled” the first order with no penalty, then I have no problem not telling the whole story to some agency who calls me wanting to know how my crops look or expected yield, storage, etc. Take the oil industry, what have prices done? Are they overstating production, understating travel of the consumer? Why are prices low now? I am not traveling any less to use less fuel. I sure don’t want to overstate what I have stored as fear prices may come down. In the end I think it works itself out as prices move as to what kind of supply we have coming into the market, or what kind of demand we have. Some end users and some producers will get stuck on the wrong side. Even if someone told them the information was 100% accurate, I doubt all would heed the message. In the last few years the markets kind of seem out of whack so to speak. For instance, during harvest, the price seems to go up. Now why is that? Even the Marketing Advisors have questions. I am sure the “outside investing” money has something to do with it. My dad used to get excited when corn or beans would move $.03/bu years ago. Store it to gain a nickel. Now you could store to gain or lose a few dollars/bu. So what information is accurate? I for one must report my acres to FSA. I know not all farmers in my area do report, but the ones who don’t, do not pick and choose what year they do or don’t report, they just don’t. Consequently, they do not receive any possible government money but they also don’t have to get permission to cut down trees or tile a “wetland” either. SO I am confused as to why we always have a discrepancy in the amount of planted acres. The FSA has the maps of my farms ready when I arrive to certify acres. I also report my yield to crop insurance for obvious reasons. I would think those numbers alone would get us some good data. I also use an agronomist from my seed company, he is free. We scout our test plot and several fields. He is very free with information on what he has seen on several other farms throughout a 3-400 square mile radius. I would trust him over some suits tromping through my data. The bottom line is, most farmers are looking for an edge. Their thinking is, if they report less, the prices for grain must go up. My personal opinion is we were better off with $100/barrel oil than $40 oil.
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marketeye
Veteran Advisor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

Trying2Farm,

 

I have been working on this site for 10 1/2 years. Posting in this forum almost on a daily basis and reading others' posts. I believe that your response is the most thought out, well constructed, balanced (level-headed) that I've ever seen.

Thanks for your perspective. It appears that you have plenty of horse-sense.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike

 

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Trying2Farm
Contributor

Re: Floor Talk May 2

I appreciate the compliment,

Thanks!

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