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AGRIBUSINESS: Professors Find USDA Report Errors

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Three professors at the University of Illinois found large, unresolved sampling errors in the January Crop Production Report in 2009, 2010 and 2012 likely caused distortions in the Grain Stocks report for corn.

The professors released an evaluation for improving the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report as well as the crop production and quarterly grain stocks report.  They suggested the USDA consider taking advantage of consolidation in the livestock industry by sampling the largest feeders in each of the major species.

The National Agricultural Statistics Species collects data for these reports by surveying random samples across the U.S.

The professors suggested increasing transparency in the yield estimates for the May, June and July WASDE reports.

The research was funded by the USDA.  The USDA will start working on the suggestions, according to Chief Economist Joseph Glauber.

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