USDA to request extension of residue, biomass field study

By Erin Voegele | December 24, 2015

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has published a notice announcing its intention to request a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection for a residue and biomass field survey.

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the survey will use fields in the South Fork watershed in central Iowa as a sampling universe. The study will investigate the effect crop residue removal has on soil and water quality. According to the NASS, measurements of crop residues will be compared with remotely sensed data to measure crop residue cover and soil tillage intensity for the entire watershed. The requested extension is for three years.

Information published in the notice indicates the survey will be conducted in several phases. After obtaining permission from farm operators, field enumerators will return several times during the growing season to measure and collect samples from the target areas. Farm operators will be contacted two other times to collect additional data related to cropping practices performed during the growing season.

The information collection activities are expected to impact an estimated 100 respondents.

The NASS is inviting public comments on several aspects of the request. Comments are due Feb. 9. According to the notice, comments are invited on whether or not the information gathered will have practical utility and the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection. Comments are also invited on ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond.

Additional information is available on the Federal Register website.