FSA Releases Farm Information

Appeals court rules agency must disclose individual farm files.

The Farm Service Agency, in response to a court ruling is releasing detailed statistical files on individual farming operations throughout the United States. All the information in the Farm Compliance Record and Farm Field Common Land Unit databases, including all operations owned by individual agricultural producers and family-owned business entities, is being released.

In July 2005 a commercial vendor requested the data under the Freedom of Information Act. FSA denied the request under the FOIA statute that exempts information that would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. FSA's denial was upheld by the U.S. district court in August 2006, but was then overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in February 2008. The information includes everything from planting dates and crop insurance information to field boundaries, acres and specific geographic coordinates.

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