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Abstract
Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.11, No.2, 1995. pp. 161180

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The Evolution and Development of Agricultural Statistics at the United States Department of Agriculture

Abstract:
Statistical information on the supply and location of agricultural foodstuffs is critical to any nation – but especially one in its developing stages. One of the first acts of the newly formed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1863 was to publish estimates of crop conditions. Estimation procedures used prior to the availability of modern sampling and estimation theories are contrasted with current methodology. Some modern day difficulties are similar to those encountered in the early years and point to the need for continuous research and development activities.

Keywords:
Forecasts; estimates; probability sampling; sampling frame.

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