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Notice of Intent To Seek Approval to Conduct an Information Collection

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National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) 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 conduct a new information collection, the Generic Clearance for Survey Research Studies.


Comments on this notice must be received by December 18, 2006 to be assured of consideration.


Comments may be sent to Ginny McBride, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, D.C. 20250-2024 or to or faxed to (202) 720-6396.

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Joseph T. Reilly, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333.

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Title: Generic Clearance to Conduct Survey Research Studies.

OMB Control Number: 0535—NEW.

Type of Request: Intent to Seek Approval to Conduct an Information Collection.

Abstract: The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for generic clearance that will allow NASS to rigorously develop, test, and evaluate its survey instruments and methodologies. The primary objectives of the National Agricultural Statistics Service are to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop production, livestock production, economic statistics, and environmental statistics related to agriculture and to conduct the Census of Agriculture. This request is part of an on-going initiative to improve NASS surveys as recommended by both its own guidelines, as well as those of OMB.

In the last decade, state-of-the art techniques have been increasingly instituted by NASS and other Federal agencies and are now routinely used to improve the quality and timeliness of survey data and analyses, while simultaneously reducing respondents' cognitive workload and burden. The purpose of this generic clearance is to allow NASS to continue to adopt and use these state-of-the-art techniques to improve its current data collections on agriculture. They will also be used to aid in the development of new surveys.

NASS envisions using the following kinds of survey improvement techniques, as appropriate to the individual project under investigation: Focus groups, cognitive and usability laboratory and field techniques, exploratory interviews, behavior coding, respondent debriefing, pilot surveys, and split-panel tests.

Following standard OMB requirements NASS will apply to OMB individually for each survey improvement project it undertakes under this generic clearance and provide OMB with a copy of the questionnaire (if one is used), and all other materials describing the project.

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 these collections of information is estimated to average 30 minutes per response.

Respondents: Farms, agri-businesses, and households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 500 hours.

Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from Ginny McBride, NASS 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, September 28, 2006.

R. Ronald Bosecker,

NASS Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E6-17302 Filed 10-17-06; 8:45 am]