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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 seek reinstatement of the 2019 Organic Survey. Response to this survey will be mandatory.


Comments on this notice must be received by April 29, 2019 to be assured of consideration.


You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0249, 2019 Organic Survey, 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) 720-2707. 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: Organic Survey.

OMB Control Number: 0535-0249.

Type of Request: Intent to Seek Reinstatement of an Information Collection.

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. In 2015, NASS conducted the 2014 Organic Production Survey (OMB #0535-0249). Originally, the Organic Survey was designed to be conducted once every five years as a mandatory, follow-on-survey to the 2007 Census of Agriculture and then every five years after that. In 2011, the docket was renewed, and the survey was changed to accommodate a cooperative agreement between NASS and 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 renewed the Organic Survey again and returned it to its' original scope of questions and the mandatory reporting requirement. After the completion of the 2014 Organic Survey, NASS renewed its' cooperative agreement with RMA to conduct the shorter questionnaire on an annual basis. Following the 2017 Census of Agriculture, NASS is requesting to reinstate this survey as a follow-on survey with mandatory reporting.

The sample will consist of all certified organic operations, operations exempt from organic certification (value of sales <$5,000), and operations with acres transitioning into organic certification from the 2017 Census of Agriculture as well as organic operations currently on the NASS list frame. 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.), and marketing and production practices. In the 2019 questionnaire, NASS is planning to remove the “GMO Presence in Organic Crops” and the “Production Expenses” sections that were included in the 2014 questionnaire.

Approximately 20,000 operations will be contacted by mail in early January 2020, 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 December 2020 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 Start Printed Page 6766approaches relevant to organic producers; and “(IV) any recommendations the Corporation considers appropriate to improve Federal crop insurance coverage for organic crops”.

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.

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: 20,000.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 16,000 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 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, February 13, 2019.

Kevin L. Barnes,

Associate Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2019-03498 Filed 2-27-19; 8:45 am]