SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — On Monday, surveys to a select number of Illinois growers were dropped in the mail that ask them about wheat and oats.

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys already collect certain data about these small grains, NASS now is drilling that data down to the county level in 32 states, including Illinois and Indiana.

The results will yield information for what is called the NASS County Agricultural Production Survey and will cover information on total acres planted and harvested and total yield and production of small grains crops. Other states, such as the Dakotas, also will work on barley, rye and other small grains significant in respective growing regions.

This particular survey will provide the data needed to estimate acreage and production of selected crops in the United States.

“The data provided by producers will help federal and state programs support the farmer,” said Mark Schleusener, Illinois state statistician. “I hope every single producer understands the importance of these data and will take the time to respond if they receive this survey.”

Schleusener stressed the importance of the survey data when it comes to determining accurate rates for loans, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more.

“Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency do not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers,” he noted.

As it does for all of its work, NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, which ensures that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law.

Survey results will be published in the NASS Quick Stats online database — https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov — at 4 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Also, the Heartland Regional Field Office in St. Louis will publish the county statistics at www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Illinois/Publications/County_Estimates/index.php.

2019 Wheat Harvest

Illinois wheat crop prospects are faring well enough to earn a “surprisingly good” rating from Schleusener.

An Aug. 12 forecast average state wheat production at 65 bushels an acre, down one bushel from 2018.

Illinois’ harvested area in 2019 is forecast at 590,000 acres, up 30,000 acres from the previous year. The report also states that total state production is forecast at 38.4 million bushels, up 4% from last year.

“It’s surprisingly good because of all the wet weather this spring that’s given many people so much trouble,” Schleusener said.

Wheat growers in southern Illinois met recently for an annual summer wheat forum, where they received updated information on insect management, variety selections and other wheat-related information.

A new University of Illinois Extension specialist in plant breeding also was introduced.

Jessica Rutkoski is an assistant professor and wheat breeder and comes to Urbana from Cornell University, as well overseas research in the Philippines.

Illinois Soybean Association consultant Dan Davidson also presented a new Double-Crop Production Guide.

Illinois final wheat production numbers for 2019 will be released Sept. 30.

Karen Binder can be reached at kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com or 618-534-0614. Follow her on Twitter: @AgNews_Binder.

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