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Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved 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, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Organic Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sample design, and questionnaire length. Response to this survey will be mandatory.


Comments on this notice must be received by October 20, 2014 to be assured of consideration.


You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0249, by any of the following methods:

  • Email: Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (202) 720-6396.
  • Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, Start Printed Page 49049NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.
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Joseph T. Reilly, Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-4333. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388.

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Title: Organic Survey.

OMB Control Number: 0535-0249.

Expiration Date of Previous Approval: July 31, 2014.

Type of Request: To revise and extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years.

Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition as well as economic statistics, farm numbers, land values, on-farm pesticide usage, pest crop management practices, as well as the Census of Agriculture.

This is a resubmission of the Federal Register Notice to include several changes to the survey that were not included in the original notice. The original notice was published on March 17, 2014.

In 2009, NASS conducted the 2008 Organic Production Survey (OMB #0535-0249). This was originally designed to be conducted once every five years as a mandatory, follow-on-survey to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. In 2011, when the docket was renewed, it was changed to accommodate a formal agreement with the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). Specifically, the survey was changed to a voluntary survey that was to be conducted annually if funding permitted, and it would allow for a rotation of target crops each year. With the completion of the 2012 Census of Agriculture, NASS proposes to expand the scope of the Organic Production Survey questionnaire to include questions that are needed for the 5-year Census of Agriculture data series using funding provided through the Census of Agriculture program. Accordingly, NASS proposes to restore mandatory reporting to the Organic Survey. The name of this docket will be changed to Organic Survey. This survey will only be conducted once under this approval; the data reference year will be 2014, and data will be collected in 2015.

The sample will consist of all farm operators from the 2012 Census of Agriculture who reported they produce organically certified crops and/or livestock, were exempt from certification (i.e., they produce less than $5,000 in sales per year), and those who were in the process of transitioning over to being organic farmers. The survey will be conducted in all States. Some operation level data will be collected to use in classifying each operation for summary purposes. The majority of the questions will involve production data (acres planted, acres harvested, quantity harvested, quantity sold, livestock produced and sold, value of sale, etc.), production expenses, and marketing and production practices.

Approximately 14,000 operations will be contacted by mail in early January 2015, with a second mailing later in the month to non-respondents. Respondents will be able to complete the questionnaire by use of the internet, if they so choose. Telephone and personal enumeration will be used for remaining non-response follow-up. The National Agricultural Statistics Service will publish summaries in October 2015 at both the State level and for each major organic commodity when possible. Due to confidentiality rules, some State level data may be combined and published at the regional or national level to prevent disclosure of individual operation's data. This collection of data will support requirements within the Agricultural Act of 2014. Under Section 11023 some of the duties of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) are defined as “(i) IN GENERAL—As soon as possible, but not later than the 2015 reinsurance year, the Corporation shall offer producers of organic crops price elections for all organic crops produced in compliance with standards issued by the Department of Agriculture under the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) that reflect the actual retail or wholesale prices, as appropriate, received by producers for organic crops, as determined by the Secretary using all relevant sources of information. “(ii) ANNUAL REPORT.—The Corporation shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report on progress made in developing and improving Federal crop insurance for organic crops, including—“(I) the numbers and varieties of organic crops insured; “(II) the progress of implementing the price elections required under this subparagraph, including the rate at which additional price elections are adopted for organic crops; “(III) the development of new insurance approaches relevant to organic producers; and “(IV) any recommendations the Corporation considers appropriate to improve Federal crop insurance coverage for organic crops”.

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Authority: This census of organic farmers is required by law under the “Census of Agriculture Act of 1997,” Public Law 105-113, 7 U.S.C. 2204(g) as amended. 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 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

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NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 45 minutes per response.

Respondents: Farmers and Ranchers.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 14,000.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 11,000 hours (based on an estimated 80% response rate, using 2 mail attempts, followed by phone and personal enumeration for non-respondents).

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, technological or other forms of Start Printed Page 49050information technology collection methods.

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, August 11, 2014.

R. Renee Picanso,

Associate Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2014-19679 Filed 8-18-14; 8:45 am]