Thursday’s livestock report indicated that in light of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or PEDV, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service would not be conducting on-site visits to collect data for the quarterly hogs and pigs report.
Iowa NASS Director Greg Thessen said that isn’t necessarily the case.
Thessen said normally producers are encouraged to respond either by mail or online form. But if there’s no response to those means, he says NASS enumerators in Iowa move on to a phone call, saving the in-person visits for a last resort.
Thessen said while the Iowa field office is reacting to the porcine epidemic virus, biosecurity has always been a concern.
“We’ve asked our interviewers to actually call ahead first and get an appointment if they need to get a personal interview, to get permission from the operator,” Thessen said.
“Even in the past, we tell our interviewers not to go near the hog buildings,” he said.
Responding to the survey is voluntary and the information is gathered is not only kept anonymously by NASS but it also cannot be shared under penalty of federal law.