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Do you have questions or suggestions, or need additional information?

Help Us Improve the Survey Instrument
To recommend questions for inclusion in the ARMS survey, email the ARMS team or directly contact Bob Dubman, Data and Survey Coordinator, Office of the Director, Resource Economics Division, ERS at e-mail: bdubman@ers.usda.gov or phone (202) 694-5506.

Before this tool was built, customers occasionally needed more detailed information from ARMS beyond what ERS tabulated/published. While we believe this online data delivery tool will address those needs, mechanisms are still in place to help you make the most of ARMS information to supplement or extend research:

Special Tabulations of ARMS Data
Unique ARMS tables created by ERS staff for agency research or in response to requests from non-Government sources are presented here. Currently available tables are listed and will be provided to requesters by email at no cost. Directions for requesting a new ARMS table are included below.

The special ARMS tables identified here supplement those presented in other places, such as custom ARMS queries on farm finance, structure, and crop production practices that are obtainable on the ARMS Web Tool. This Web Tool contains millions of the most commonly requested ARMS estimates. Publications incorporating ARMS data are listed on the ERS website for all major areas of the survey. Please examine these sources before requesting a new ARMS tabulation; your inquiry may already be answered in existing tables.

Special tabulations from the Census of Agriculture are provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) as described: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Data_and_Statistics/Special_Tabulations/index.asp/.

Listing of Available Special ARMS Tabulations
The following tables have been prepared by ERS and are now available to the public at no cost upon request. To receive a copy of the listed analyses contact Robert Dubman ( BDubman@ers.usda.gov ) and specify the ID number.
ID number Detailed description and keywords ARMS phase and years Major categorical variables Requester and organization Date released
001 Corn-producing farms, by participation in Federal crop insurance and conservation compliance  Phase III, 2009 Crop insurance and conservation compliance Mitch Hunter, American Farmland Trust Dec. 2011
002 Participation rates in FSA loans, by Farm Service Agency as a lender  Phase III, 2009 FSA lender, region, size, farm typology Stephanie Mercier, Agricultural Perspectives Dec. 2011
003 Soybean-, cotton-, or rice- producing farms, by participation in Federal crop insurance and conservation compliance Phase III, 2009 Crop insurance and conservation compliance Mitch Hunter, American Farmland Trust Jan. 2012

Request a New ARMS Special Tabulation

Requests for new ARMS tabulations are considered when the requested estimates are not published elsewhere. ARMS estimates are created by ERS analysts and may be part of their research or in response to an outside request. Requests from non-Government sources must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Output is topical and of interest to a wide range of ARMS customers.
  • Request is reasonable and best fulfilled with ARMS data. ERS managers will review each request.
  • Resources are available to complete the tabulations without disturbing regular work duties.
  • Costs for tabulations vary with the complexity of the request. Simple tabulations may be done free of charge. Fees for larger and more complex special tabulations are $500 per staff day for the required number of days to complete the tabulation and disclosure review.
  • ARMS tabulations present statistical estimates based on collected sample sizes and have confidence limits surrounding the estimate. Information provided will be screened for disclosure violations and estimates with statistical reliability concerns will be identified. ARMS is collected under a pledge of confidentiality and estimates that might reveal a farm operator's response will be suppressed.
  • Tables will be provided directly to the requestor and, at the same time, will be publicly identified and made available for request by all others.

To request an unpublished ARMS tabulation from ERS, please contact Mitch Morehart ( Morehart@ers.usda.gov) or Steve Crutchfield ( SCrutch@ers.usda.gov).

Procedures for Requesting Access to Raw ARMS Data
ARMS data can be made available to researchers and other government agencies who have collaborative projects with ERS or NASS that contribute to USDA's public sector mission. These projects must be formally administered through a cooperative research relationship between ERS and a responsible research organization.

The following steps are required to get approval to access ARMS data:

  • Complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ERS/NASS and your organization, which grants access to ARMS data exclusively for statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality
  • Amend the MOU with a Project Agreement, for each individual research project that will access ARMS, that provides a brief project description and objective, a detailed description of the data needed, and the planned uses of the data.
  • Obtain, review, and sign the NASS Agreement of Confidentiality for use of ARMS data (required for all individuals prior to accessing any unpublished information)

Once formal agreements have been signed, access to ARMS data is provided at ERS or NASS headquarters or at a NASS State statistical office, depending on availability of office and computer resources. Users must participate in a Security Briefing on the security and confidentiality requirements of using ARMS data.

The level of disaggregation of data available for access depends on the project specifics. That is, ERS and NASS staff will review the proposed project to determine the level of aggregation that can meet the research demand, whether there are adequate samples available to support the analysis, and whether the analysis accounts for the complex ARMS survey design. ERS will attempt to meet data needs with publishable aggregations whenever possible.

Please note: ARMS data may be used for statistical purposes only; they may not be used for nonstatistical purposes, such as regulatory or enforcement purposes or release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In addition, all reports, publications, and releases based on ARMS survey data must pass strict nondisclosure reviews. Entities and individuals outside USDA with access to confidential survey data are subject to the same Federal statutes that apply to USDA and its employees. Under these statutes, individuals who unlawfully disclose confidential data are subject to fines and other penalties.

  • To request access to the detailed micro data, contact Bob Dubman, Data and Survey Coordinator, ERS Resource Economics Division, by phone (202) 694-5506 or e-mail Bdubman@ers.usda.gov

Last updated: Thursday, July 05, 2012

For more information contact: Mitch Morehart

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