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Senior Contributor

Heading out with USDA this afternoon

Got an invitation from a USDA-NASS to go out this afternoon with a couple gents -- enumerators, I guess -- who are doing some field counts in preparation for the October 12 Crop Production report. Should be interesting. I'm looking forward to hearing how they respond to some of the criticism they've taken the last few months.

 

Anybody have any questions you'd like me to ask them? What would you like to hear from them? What about the "ear-counting" process interests you most? I'll sure pass it along to them!

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8 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

Jeff I would like to know more about the frost damage to soybeans in Minnesota plus the many drown out acres of soybeans in that state. Thanks

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

Make sure you check the test weight on corn in frozen areas.  Here in Minnesota the test weight is light and kernals are very small on late planted corn that got froze, weigh the ears,  also the beans that got froze have very small beans or flat pods in the top third of the plant.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

   Why dont' they use FSA numbers since they are reported by farmers, for acerage and prevent plant?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

How do they account for all the flooded crop acres along the missouri river this year. Are they using word of mouth, aireal photos, FSA certified planted acre reports by county, ?.   Just what exactly determins the final crop acres with growing crops on them?

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

Jeff.

Ask them if they use crop insurance claim data from RMA. My brother has been doing corn claims all over N. Ohio, not very good numbers showing up. Certainly the more data they can "harvest" the more accurate they can be.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

In every report, I'd like to see a description of the exact method used to arrive at the conclusion, along with a discussion of what factors might have changed since the data was gathered.

For example

State up front - data gathered on X dates from Y locations.  Count conducted using Z procedure.  The data is then good within a certain range of accuracty for a certain time, condition and location.  The more we know of this, the more we can understand why data gathered on 1 July seems so crazy when reported on 30 July.

I believe they are probably telling the truth about the data, but the data may be quite different from what the report reader has in mind when looking at the numbers. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

I believe the USDA data gathering and reporting is completely flawed, and skewed towards political influence.

Case in point, this year's extreme crop damage from the Missouri flooding:  In late July Cargill's chief said in a meeting of his people that a little over a million acres had been destroyed by flood waters in SD, Ia, Ne, Missouri. In the mean time USDA continued with their report of record high corn plantings. How the he-- did Cargill know more than the USDA?

 

I wish Obama would gut the USDA, and turn over all crop reporting to private industry. I think we can trust them about as much as trusting the USDA> You think I hate government agencies, YOU ARE RIGHT

Veteran Contributor

Re: Heading out with USDA this afternoon

4wd-

I must be naive.  I don't believe for a minute that the data is skewed.  I think it is in the best interest of the USDA  to get the data as accurate as possible.

 

For instance, it is possible to  have a million acres flood and still also get record high corn plantings.  Personally, I don't think we got the 92 million  that was reported, but I don't think anybody really benefits politically from that data... nor do I think the USDA workers are dishonest about the data they collect.

 

I'm not a fan of many things that our government does... but as for the people who are working for the government, they are just like us.  Some good ones, some bad ones.

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