NAS: USDA needs to update data to reflect complex farm businesses
The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service should create a Farm Register to provide an ongoing enumeration of all farm businesses, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a report released Tuesday.
“This register would include information such as size indicators, geolocation indicators, and North American Industry Classification System codes for the farm establishment, and would be regularly updated as new information becomes available,” NAS recommended to NASS and the Economic Research Service.
“The report places an emphasis on understanding farm structures at the conceptual level, with guidance on reflecting the diversity of agriculture, the need to reduce the burden for respondents, the urgency of addressing root causes of declining response rates, and the need to create operational efficiencies and better processes within the agencies,” NAS said.
The report should prove timely, as USDA is aiming to have a revised system of data and statistical programs by 2022, NAS noted. USDA paid for the study.
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