Field Data Collection Using Geographic Information Systems Technologies and iPads on the USDA’s June Area Frame Survey

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) surveys farmers and ranchers across the United States and Puerto Rico in order to estimate crop production and number of livestock, to assess production practices, and to identify economic trends. The June Agricultural Survey (JAS) is an annual survey that provides information on U.S. crops, livestock, grain storage capacity, and number, type and size of farms. The JAS is comprised of two components, the List Survey and the Area Survey. The List Survey is comprised of agricultural operations known to NASS. The Area Survey is comprised of designated land areas known as segments and is utilized in measuring the incompleteness of the List. This study is focused on the Area portion, which will be abbreviated as JAS. The JAS sample is comprised of nearly 11,000 designated land areas known as segments. A typical segment is about one square mile -- equivalent to 640 acres. Each segment is outlined on an aerial photo (typically 2’ by 2’ in size) and provided to NASS’s field interviewers. Field interviewers visit these segments and identify the owners/operators of all land within the segment. Land is then categorized as agricultural or non-agricultural. For land where agricultural activity is occurring, a separate paper questionnaire is completed for each agricultural operation operating land within the segment. A team composed of staff from NASS and Iowa State University Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology developed a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) instrument to conduct the JAS aerial imagery portion and collect field level information. Also, the team was tasked with testing field enumeration of grid segments (a new type of segment) that could make the JAS sample preparation process more efficient. The JAS-CAPI instrument was field tested in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Washington.

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RDD Research Report
RDD 15-03

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-24

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