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Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New 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 seek approval to conduct a new information collection to gather data related to rates paid for custom agricultural work done on farms. This clearance will allow NASS to conduct surveys in a timely manner for the cooperating institutions who provide funding for these surveys.


Comments on this notice must be received by January 14, 2019 to be assured of consideration.


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

  • Email: Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.
  • E-fax: 855-838-6382.
  • Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS 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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Kevin L. Barnes, Associate 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—OMB Clearance Officer, at 202-690-2388 or at

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Title: Custom Rates Surveys.

OMB Control Number: 0535-NEW.

Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to conduct a group of new information collections for a period of three years.

Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to collect, prepare, and issue state and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture; and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture. The Custom Rates program will collect information from farmers who have knowledge of rates for custom agricultural services (custom rates) during a specified reference period. These services include land tillage, application of fertilizers and chemicals, planting, harvesting, hauling, various livestock tasks, and many more tasks. The program will provide farm operators with rates for different custom services in their state and/or local area. All questionnaires included in this information collection will be voluntary. These surveys will be conducted through cooperative agreements with State Departments of Agriculture and/or universities; with the cooperators providing the funding. The time between funding being secured and the desired start of data collection is often too short to allow for a separate OMB approval for each survey. With this approval NASS will be able to provide services in a timelier manner.

Authority: These data will be collected under 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 (Pub. L. 104-113, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

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 information collection is based on similar surveys with expected response time of 20 minutes. The estimated sample size will be approximately 40,000. The frequency of data collection for each survey is annual. The estimated number of responses per respondent is 1. Publicity materials and instruction sheets will account for approximately 5 minutes of additional burden per respondent. Respondents who refuse to complete a survey will be allotted 2 minutes of burden per attempt to collect the data. NASS will conduct the survey initially by mail with phone follow-up for non-response.

Respondents: Farmers who have a knowledge of rates for custom services.

Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 40,000 annually.

Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

Estimated Total Burden on Respondents: Approximately 14,500 hours annually. This will include burden for both the initial mailing and phone follow-up to non-respondents, as well as publicity and instruction materials mailed out with questionnaires.

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, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological, or other forms of information 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, October 23, 2018.

Kevin L. Barnes,

Associate Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2018-24775 Filed 11-13-18; 8:45 am]