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Irrigation Survey

Full Report:

2013  |  2008 |  2003

Report Form and Instructions:

2013 Sample report form  |   Instruction Booklet

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • 1. What is the 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey

    The 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey (FRIS) is a supplement to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. This survey provides the only comprehensive information on irrigation activities and water use across American farms, ranches, and horticultural operations. In responding to the survey, producers provide information on water sources and amount of water used, acres irrigated by type of system, irrigation and yield by crop, and system investments and energy costs.

  • 2. How is the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey conducted?

    Just as with the Census of Agriculture, the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey is conducted once every five years. NASS will survey a sample of all farmers who indicated on their Census of Agriculture form that they used irrigation on their operation. For the 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, approximately 35,000 producers across the United States participated.

  • 3. Why are nursery and horticulture operations included in this survey?

    Nursery and horticulture operations account for a large portion of the American agricultural industry. Water use is vital to nursery and horticulture operations. To ensure that this important sector is accurately represented in agriculture water use reports, NASS made an extra effort to include nursery and horticulture producers in the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey.

  • 4. I just completed the 2012 Census of Agriculture, which included irrigation questions. Why do I need to complete another survey?

    NASS is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. While the 2012 Census of Agriculture included questions about irrigation, it did not go into in-depth details. A survey specific to irrigation will allow NASS to publish more comprehensive information on this important practice. The results of this survey will aid in efforts to develop and promote efficient irrigation practices and ensure long-term sustainability of water resources.

  • 5. Must I respond to the survey?

    Yes. Since the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey is a supplement to the Census of Agriculture, United States law requires all those who receive a survey to respond. (Title 7, U.S. Code)

  • 6. Will my information be kept confidential?

    Absolutely. NASS keeps all individual information confidential as required by law. Only the tabulated totals will be available in any published reports. Your responses will not be shared with anyone, including other government agencies or under threat of subpoena.

  • 7. How are the data used?

    Survey data are used by producers, farm organizations, businesses, State departments of agriculture, elected representatives and legislative bodies at all levels of government, public and private sector analysts, the news media, and colleges and universities. The data are used to:

    • Compare water use by application method;
    • Develop improved technologies;
    • Develop Federal programs;
    • Appraise water use trends;
    • Assess impact of congressional legislation; and
    • Evaluate the impact of irrigated crops by State.

  • 8. When and where will the results of the 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey be released?

    Survey results will be available November 13, 2014 online at For additional information on the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, Census of Agriculture or any other NASS survey, call the Agricultural Statistics Hotline at (800) 727-9540 or email us at


Last Modified: 06/23/2017