Acreage Estimates And Sampling Errors
Here is an interesting discussion of various possible sampling errors in the prospective plantings estimate. It gives one good reason not to put too much stock in the numbers untill more information is known.
The initial reaction to the USDA's March prospective plantings estimates for 2014 was to anticipate larger acreage estimates in June, particularly if conditions point to minimal prevented planted acreage. One needs to be cautious in reaching such a conclusion, primarily due to the sampling variability that is inherent in the planted acreage estimates. Nonetheless, there does indeed appear to be some room for the acreage estimates for principal crops to exceed this year's estimate of planting intentions. If acreage estimates for principal crops do increase in the future, we expect the magnitude to be smaller than the 9.7 million acre difference between total acreage in 2013 and the total of planting intentions and CRP acreage for 2014. A conservative estimate would be an increase in the range of 2-4 million acres.
Issued by Darrel Good and Scott Irwin
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois"