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For Immediate Release: May 27, 1999 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

What impact will lower-than-average rainfall and the mild spring temperatures have on New Jersey Agriculture in 1999? This is just one of many questions the New Jersey Agricultural Statistics Service will be asking growers about 1999 crops planted, hay acreage, and grain stocks as part of USDA's nationwide crop acreage and livestock survey.

Beginning June 1, a sample of 300 New Jersey farm operators will be asked to report crop acreage planted or to be planted, grains in storage, and livestock numbers. While only a fraction of the state's farms are included in the survey, each farm represents other farms of similar type and category. To show a true picture of New Jersey agriculture in 1999, a completed report for every participating farm , both small and large, is critical.

As part of this survey, field interviewers armed with aerial photographs will also visit a sample of farmers between June 1 and June 14. Farmers will be asked to report all the livestock and poultry raised and crops planted on the land indicated on the photograph.

The agricultural survey provides the 1999 base for official USDA crop statistics. According to State Statistician Vic Tolomeo continued market uncertainties highlight the need for acreage and livestock information producers can rely on.

National survey results will be available on June 30 in the Acreage report and on July 12 in the Crop Production report published by USDA. New Jersey statistics will be reprinted in the July issue of the Farm Facts newsletter which is available free to any farmer who requests it. Information is also available on the Internet at http://www.usda.gov/nass/.

For further information, contact Vic Tolomeo or Dale King at (800) 328-0179.