Person holding handful of soybeansIt’s no secret confidence in USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) crop reporting has waned in recent years, with speculation rising about the legitimacy of the agency’s data and reporting methods. The American Farm Bureau Federation is out to change that. Acknowledging the importance of the data to farmers’ grain marketing decisions and opportunities, the group released a set of recommendations Thursday to “rebuild farmers’ trust” in NASS reporting, including increasing data transparency, integrating new data collection and analysis technology and introducing the idea of the federal agency collaborating with groups like AFBF to collect critical crop data. Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, said such adjustments will help AFBF members and other farmers “make timelier adjustments to these key reports and restore trust in the data we’ve relied on for so long.” Leaders at NASS say the recommended changes are already being considered or will be soon. See more about the AFBF recommendations for NASS.