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Improving Agricultural Estimates While Reducing Respondent Burden (307936)*Linda Young, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
Keywords: data integration, remote sensing, administrative data, survey data
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts more than 100 surveys and produces more than 500 reports each year on all facets of US agriculture. As the agricultural industry has become increasingly concentrated, precise estimates of agricultural production require the participation of the large producers. Consequently, the burden on these large producers has been increasing with some being asked to respond to more than twenty surveys each calendar year. This has contributed to increased nonresponse. NASS has been aggressively exploring the use of administrative and remote-sensing data to reduce response burden for all producers.
US farmers who participate in any USDA program during a calendar year must complete an FSA-578 form with the USDA’s Farm Services Agency (FSA). On the form they report information on acreage, crops planted, and farming practices. In addition, each year NASS creates the Cropland Data Layer (CDL), a 30-meter resolution geospatial land cover layer of crops being grown in the 48 conterminous states. Weather data are widely available. Further, the June Area Survey is conducted each year in June. In a pilot study being conducted in Illinois, NASS is exploring the integration of all these data as well as higher resolution (3 and 10-meter) remote sensing data to improve estimates of the number of acres planted for each crop type. In this paper, results of the pilot study test will be presented, and plans for scaling this effort to the national level will be discussed.