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Notice

Notice of Intent To Revise and Extend a Currently Approved Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995), this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to seek approval to revise and extend a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Surveys Program.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by July 23, 2003, to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be mailed to Ginny McBride, NASS OMB Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250 or sent electronically to gmcbride@nass.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carol House, Acting Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Agricultural Surveys Program.

OMB Control Number: 0535-0213.

Expiration Date of Approval: January 31, 2004.

Type of Request: Intent to extend and revise a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: The National Agricultural Statistics Service is responsible for preparing and issuing State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, grain stocks, farm numbers, land values, on-farm pesticide usage, and pest crop management practices. The Agricultural Surveys Program contains a series of surveys that obtains basic agricultural data from farmers and ranchers throughout the Nation for preparing agricultural estimates and forecasts of crop acreage, yield, and production; stocks of grains and soybeans; hog and pig numbers; sheep inventory and lamb crop; cattle inventory; and cattle on feed. Grazing fees, land values, pesticide usage, and pest management practices data are also collected.

Uses of the statistical information are extensive and varied. Producers, farm organizations, agribusinesses, State and national farm policy makers, and government agencies are important users of these statistics. Agricultural statistics are used to plan and administer other, related Federal and State programs in such areas as consumer protection, conservation, foreign trade, education, and recreation.

The cattle survey portion of the programs will be changed for January 2004 only to add two questions regarding non-ambulatory cattle. Aggregated totals will be provided to the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the National Animal Health Monitoring System, which will assess the number of farm operations experiencing down animals. That information will be used in the design of a major study to be conducted in 2005.

The Agricultural Surveys Program had approval from OMB for a 3-year period. NASS intends to request that the program be approved for another 3 years. These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 15 minutes per response.

Respondents: Farms.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 547,000.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 139,000 hours.

Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from Ginny McBride, NASS OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 720-5778.

Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

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Signed at Washington, DC, April 24, 2003.

Carol House,

Associate Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 03-12391 Filed 5-16-03; 8:45 am]

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