Government crop reports

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Government crop reports
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United States -- Bureau of Crop Estimates
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G.P.O. ( Washington D.C )
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90 ment Crop Re'


S"'" HEIR VALUE. COP
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inuary 20, 1915.
NTURE,
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)orts:


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Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
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http://archive.org/details/cropre00unit










Issued January 20, ',l"
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES,
LEON M. ESTABROOK, CHIEF.




Government Crop Reports:

THEIR VALUE, SCOPE, AND
PREPARATION.





Circular 17, Revised.


WA SHINGTON:
GOVIrIN ,lENT 'I?!N 1 NG OFFICrF..
1l15.


























ORGANIZATION OF BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.



Statistician and Chief: LEON M. ESTABROOK.
Assistant Statistician and Assistant Chief: NAT C. MURRAY.
Chief Clerk: 0. N. FANSLER.
Division of Crop Reports: S. A JONES, ?'hif," EDWARD CRANE, Assistant ("'if.
Division of Crop Records: FRANK ANDREWS, Chi f.
Statistical Scientists: GEORGE K. HOLMES, CHARLES M. DAUGHERTY, and
FRED J. BLAIR.
Crop Reporting Board: LEON M. E-TMIROOK. ('hairinini, NAT C. MURRAY.
S. A. JONES, GEORGE K. HOLMES, and two or more field I:enl called in from
the field force.
2
















LETTER. OF riRANSM.ITTAL.


U. S. 1 EIA i, 'r17. NT OF A-GRIC'I 1 T I;I .
BUI&A.U OF ( r')P T- .'r .,
I['-/./! /;,tton., I). C., Oc. l ;/ .9I.;.
S IR: I hIav' the hon' ir to ira lMn-iit ,i' i t:l ,iil r- i ,,i,",i,..(l fr
pl._liliatoil a rvi..-iim of Cii'..lar 17 of thi l,..,.ii of cro,' Esti-
mates firingn rly IIrcaI.i of Siat-ti,) citit.., "G,, i-riii.wnt ,rop
Reporlr-." Tlhi. r<. i'ifi is iii', e nr,.'.-.arv by r,.1ii: i liH *- in
o1rLvarIizalion manl nefli' ,',l. wliii li have taken place dulriI i the lh."i
year. The material pr'-.cnted in ibis .irlil:ir ii irnt.il''. for the
information of the lar.ze ininl.er of v,*hintI). ( r,,) rlnirt,.. of the
bureau (apprxirnatt'ly 150,000) and for i-. in f I,-'.I. iii2 umniirIJ'-,
inqluiries with respect to the ot-rizi:. value, u;"-t.i. ri. "''p' of
thlic crop-rporting servicee of the deparin,..irt. The 1ir,' lar i.-
dlix i'lled inio there parts, mmirn 1y, '"Pail I, OrI-in :. nl Value oi
('iop Reports; Part II, Scope an1,4 M.1 ib. ', 4 rop RIl,.'i ii..
Part. Ill, Base ,-of Crip -tIimnui,.s." be( :;,.,. the irquiri, ;,,,r il,-
iirmiiatin r,.'c(.iv'1l by itlh bl) n. .ii I aifld iii lhp>se lhre,

Very '.jeii:!;ny
ILEON M. IESTABROOK,.

iron. D. P. Hor-.,.x,
N ,' ,'.', il, l',/ .. .t ,,',"! ;,',, 1111re.





















CONTENTS.


PART I.-ORIGIN AND VALUE OF CROP REPORTS: Page.
Origin of the (';-r rti urvice -------------.................... 7
Value of crop es iniat -.-s ................................ 8
PART II.-SCOP,, AND ME flHOD OF CIU()P RPi:'OI:T.S:
Scope of i '(,p rleports.................................. 0---------------------------
Methds of (-crip repli tinij- --.-.-.--.---------..-.....--- .... ---------- 14
Tran.misin of rep',rts to b11r'a!, by c,,rr.lpeii nts.. 15
Pre)pa'rati n of r,-,Irt.- ................................. 15
Methodl oi issiingi4 rei't.-----------------------------............................ 16
PART III.-B.\i-Es O1 CROP E4I-IIMATES:
Ac.r'e e -e.Liiat-. ....- ...........................---------------------------------.. 17
Live-otork estimitt.- .................................. 19
Use of rural mail ;rrijr.- -............................. 19
Typical fLrn.i for e(-tiliiliii6ri awir,'i-e and live stock..... 20
The "iiurnial -is a la-is :of condition reports............ 20
Accdiracy of condition rejp.,rts ......................... 24
Conclusion .......................................... 27
5













GOVERNMENT CROP REPORTS.


PART I.--ORIGIN AND VALUE OF CROP REPORTS.
ORIGIN OF THE COOP-REPORTING SER' ICE.

Tho first .'4.r;,iT'LTin aHtih,,ri,..d by Co,,r'.. f-r t1i ,,,oll.-' tio(-
IT;: I 1 i i *.-e and fo- the ,l ,-',i ;ni.l li but, of
c..:',' 01,,,i,1 ; ,. .-] i --i.,,.- (A P :it. lt-,.. T !il- ...Pi'. [ Ir (
~~ pn* *-*- iii
.nv' -. th,. b,'-":' iiiii of the i,r,'-. pt ,,, p,.,,tr1!.,nt ',A ri, 'ill ,:'.
Siuul r :li!.,,il',riai i, ,l contil,.,l 1'. be--,,,, for the c ;i:' ii d )Ut
po)( 01 (culle'l l!'' ,rir lti',,l t-.' tir..
increa-i,.g i' ,i ,ni.1unt as the value and Ji,),,,p.. ,. Te woT0 k
c'arm, t'. 1,o, r(, *,rtiiz.ed. Fr',:i j :* to l.^i2 ti ,, ri v,. hanl n I
by a -ii;ilfl fi'rre iii ji,' P,' I-.t Oflire, but in l t i w,- r, ,..:' ;,i erre(I l
to llhe Department of' Azrii, !'l!,irp in :Wtr',iirt" with the act,
pasecd May 15, 1i,)2, (-t.illi-li11- the l-partment. It. C,.,,,.r!
desig.-n ;iid'd.l 1 i(-; oi which .-liall 1-. to acq";, '!, dl to 'i j i, n ..
the people of the Unite1 St- ,- infonnd.in, ,ii subji.cts o;i. ,
with a,,ri, lture, in the most .z'i.lr..l ;id c 'li1ri..-)!-ive sense f
that word." AThe ('*i,,: ii-ii,,ii r wv.- r,-qiuir'd. by I11 :- t t) "pro-
rurc, and prr,:.-"'?rv all i i, :ii : '. ,,.',er,,in,_ ',!'^ xvlnich ],.
rca-, obtai'. by mn,;.,s of ljk.. -,rr',po1 l,-ice, :i. by ,,'ati..l
ani .,.ir.,tifti,. N ex 4 'ri t',e(, f i:-,'i ,,r-i re(, r 1.- if .ich c .,i ,ri rnth
-hti'i I., krfpt in hi- ,tlic'-l bv the .,'l-1' 1i, of -t. .-i i :. .,'L bv anv
oti,,'.r ai 'l! iI ri.it, n :(i.ais v within --i- p ,, -,r."
The Inr-' ..ppr,,pri;.i. -ii for c,'lr. inLr n:tric I:r'l s.t'i.iti,-r by
the d.'p:tlrt i t "., pr'videl i,-i' by tlie .' t O FDInr...ry Y, I1*..
which \.. i,:'.oinibulkforthe v'.rk ofb 1', 'tmen:. ;:i,-ountin.
iln :il! 1-> .4 l,.O T hi, tll n (,,, .iini -ii, ,r of .\--i'ili,:r, ,il],>td
a p.irt of lii- .i ciii:,t ir colleciri: :.-ri,'ultural st.ai-Tif-' ,. ,in ap-
pinterld a :t.i i,.i.j ,ii Ln 'r t!i i: pirh'o.-,. F.-r i, li, i-r.l year r-ilc, I
I| -K 1-f;.., the j ".
1ur1m. Io-e the r-t di-tii,-t and sipir.,t1 pr i'. r, \, rn.,,
ior ,oli ,.-tin :.i ri,'ultural st:it i-tif.- for iil'f'.I, n i.rv 11'. I, repI r11 ,r I
ti ili niit r -tA wo.is a;ppropriaitd.
From ;niu .alliotvidl of a few tlhoii-.. nd 1do0l1r- '-"h yoir if firft
the cr'op-rpiirtiri- s,.rvire h1"-' leon evo!v.->i, p..C'cl,,i, nd 'i-
Ia rv ed ito 1hil B`.rm-;:n ri ('ro] E.timi.o.i-! of 11i14 dep.uitripii.
Thie al,)p.i', ;ri;ta i,,1 :;' t for it llrqp:rlnioent ,f .\A ri'iitll ::r' ir lthi,
rl'-'riil~~~ ~~ "pi )'l..i c 'Ti' w.O 19 5 .*P i~ .ii'- i'I.i I I Ii I 4 .' "-'_ C .'i1 7~
for tihe ] p1rn:P! ,,1 i r p l-,ii '..1i r.-.. A. s li.- a|>; ., i.' I A', 11,,
-*at;-t,'1.' ., ; d r-. ,pirliig .,r' i ha'.it beeIn .r.,u: .|1y ii.,-- ,-pd
dturin IIt.- p.i--t stvec'r 'r-. l li : Id 'I "' .! i ."'onl 'I'
the bureau ha.xr1 l,-ppP rnrrp',ndi nr l ol.lrr2,' 'I


aaoaB -1 --2






BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


VALUE OF CROP ESTIMATES.
The practical value of the Government crop estimates results
from the fact that they are based upon reports of farmers and others
in every county and town, hip in the UTited Pt:i.tes and upon re-
ports of trained field agents in each State.; they are made monthly
during the crop season; they are clecl-:d up from every possible
source of information; the final reports are prepared and issued by a
crop-reporting board of experts; and all Government employees
engaged in the preparat ion of the crop estimates are prohibited by
law from giving out information concerninim them or in utilizing
information so obtained for their ow'i beifi L directly or indirectly
prior to the date and hour of pulScation, so lthat the reports when
issued are known to be as accu-te .t.- it is prac't able to make them,
as well as impartial, di~intfircrted, and therefore dependable. No
public organization, and certainly no private corporation in the
United States and prob31lY in the world, is so well organized and
equipped for the wort of reporting on crop conditions and pros-
pects as the present BirI1au of Crop Estimates.
Without such a system of Governm(-nn l crop estimates, specu-
lators intereste'1in raising or lowering prices of farm products would
issue so mapy conflictinG and misleading reports fhat it would be
practicallUy impossi1ble for anyc.ne, without mreat expense, to form
an -curate estimate, of crop conditions and prospects. Farmers
Vould suffer most from such conditions, In:,' alse they are not so
well organized as other lines of business nor are they in a position to
take advantage of fluctuations in market pi ices.
Farmers are benefited by the Government crop reports both
directly and indirectly; directly, by being kept informed of crop
prospects and prices outside of their own immediate districts, and
indirectly, because the d(isintere-tedo reorts of the Government
tend to prevent the circulation of false or misleading reports by
speculators who are interested in controlling or manipulating
prices.
The farmer can not, by refusing to report the condition of crops
for his locality, prevent buyers and speculate's from knowing tlhe
condition of the crop. It is well known that speculators and large
dealers in farm products do not depend entirely upon Government
reports for information concern ng crop prospects. They maintain
regular systems of their own for -' .llcting crop information. They
have traveling agents and correspondents (usually local buyers)
throughout the United States. who keep them p,,st1ed, and the large
buyer or speculator, in return, gives th,,.se-- local buyers or corre-
spondents inf,,rma intn in rg.ard to genrral( conditions and prices.
The local buyers know the conditions of crops in th lir own vicinity
better, as a rule, than the av era,. e farmer, beci isr it is their busi ness
to keep wcl informed.
If the Government crop estimate., should be discontinued the
farmer would have no relialde information concerning crop pros-
pects except in his own iiime.iate nci'rhborhood, and for crop








pri'ispect-s inll ,iti'r 1 i... lii. he would have to depend upoln such
iiif,,nm ti, a s i'n1. '..--. ,d ] ,K1 ,c; li 111 rs and deal.-r- i]ii.ht ( !,,,,-,. to
p blldish in tl, iM.'.v-,.n,'1 .. whi',ch nii'l.t i,r iii._'-it not be correct.
'ic." in hi ,,w\- loca! JIi,.irl ..|t ir I i'i i ced, a rule, iii riv by flvthe
c(',diti.ii nf ,i. whole ,'.,t throughout llt .. State:: and ,eve;1 in I.rimn coumir'',. than tiv are Ihy lo' Al con-
ditiwins. The ( 10-tire wln.it crop 1of his county may be d-i-tr,,yed
andi yet pri..-L may be l )w, or his county may have a bumper crop
and prices Ibe uni-itll highl del il itILr upon wll-.11er or not there
is a surplus i'r d,-ii'it 11.. iu the entire, nr1,p el-.wlu re. In a sense
the Burerau of Crop E:-~inlite .s i. a form of farmers' coopelratiin,
wherein eachi farm cr, p report gi v.s inf riitt i, 'n alout his locality
and in return .e(cives information about the entire country, the
bureaui merely actin_, as a exchan le.
Some or the private crn 'p reprt:- which are, puflisbed in the news-
papers are lh unestly p: i pared and are, more or less a,,u rate, dI-epend-
in- up,,n the ext.ent an, -, uir-'s of ifU'rjtii ; on the other hand,
misleadlinlg crop reports are kbi 1,wi to bie h' juently circulated in
order to raiise or lower prie..- in the interest o' speciilatiirs. If Hie
farmer reads the cr,,p estin".ites and1 f ir -('a:-t of the Government as
they are Ls.iied he will be in a p, :ition to judge for himself what the
crop pro,-pects are, as wll as pro! bAle price(.-, so thai he can decide
intelligently how to niarkle li;-l produce and h,,w to deal with the
local bulerI'. Ee.ii the f-irinrs who do not keepi po1,'i itre
indirectly lbeiefitid by the publi,'.,,,':i (-of Govt -rnnmieiit crop e.ti-
mates, bcau.e lie.. e.-tiniats automatically tend to cl.eck and
le-ssen the injurious effects of fal-e reptrt- sent out broadcast by
interested sp.ei flat,,rn and their a_.nts, in the :.-ie way that a
police or cinstaile f,,rce tends to chlieck but not entirely prevent
crime in a cminlniunity.
The m, *ire ( er ,aity there is as to the probable si uipply and demand
the less chance i',r .(i-l.,:ation .ind l tribuitinr and rnarketiwL the ciwp, which is a Lbenefit both to the
producer and tothe c,,n-uiin.r.
Largem nial fa iirin'.firi,-, a~riiulliiral inmllement and hardware
companies, wh,_l o jieih.ribly i ,,'ii .,'.11 'arm products, are much inter-
ested in( ro ppru ,'ipts. This knowle, l, '(-ne les them to distribute
their wures'ec ,11 Inio ally, seii;ind much to sections where crops are
good and nFrrnuf-rs will have mii-y. with which to buy, and less to
sections where ( riqs arc, shirt a'nd farmers will have less to spend.
Few farmers r'.aliz'e how much is :avet.d by an -ve\ n distribulion of
manluarttired articles a,'cirdiiiL': to crop prospt.ts. If manuliac-
urers avoid heavy ,'s.-es fr'.oini irnpril:'r disributii-in. they (an
afford to sell on 1eter terms, with r. -liltinir bj jefit to farmL'rs.
The railroads of hlie co in,try, xv1ii 1h move crps from the farm to
the market, must kn,,w in al'..'cethe prol lle Siz.,'' of tlhe c'rp in
order to pro% ide a suiti i. iii number of cars to hliandle it effet i vi cly
and without delay. Cases are nt infrequent when pri. es of grain


GON\'I; i;N M EXT CROP 11 I ;T l;





BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


at railroad stations are reduce-1, orthere is absolutely no sale forthe
grain, ,ii cause c.. s are not available for shipping, the farmer thus
being ai.i1,Jg the sufferers.
Prompt aud reliable informaiun regarding c.rop prspects is
equally import:u:t and valuable in the conduct of commercial,
industrial, and rai isportation (-n uterlrijcs. The earlierthe informa-
tion regt..ling the prola:tlde production of the great anLiciultuirai
commodities ,.n be published, the more safely and eoncr mically
(,in the busincus of the country be managed from year to year.
Retail dealers in all lines of gouds, whether in the city or in the
country, order fr.ii-. wholesale merchants, jobbers, or manufac-
1 ure:s, tho g'.-ods they expect to sell many weeks and frequently
many monthIs before act uial purchase and shipment. Jobbers foll.Iw
the same coHr-.e, and lmanufactirers produce the goods and wai,;s
handled by merchants of every class far ahead of the time of their
actual distribution and consumption. It is therefore important
that they have the earliest information possible with rct-pect to crop
prospects and the probable pur,:hbabing power of the farmers.
With such information carefully and scientifically gathered and
compiled, and honestly disseminated, so that it can be depended
upon to be as accurie as any forecast or estimate can possibly be,
and relied upon as emanating from an impartial and disinterested
source, the farmers, the merchants, the manufacturers, and the
1 ransp)orta'tion and dist ributing agencies of the country can act with
a degree of prudence and intelligence not possible were the infor-
mation lacking.
PART II.-SCOPE AND METHOD OF CROP REPORTS.
SCOPE OF CROP REPORTS.
Beginning with planting, daita are gathered and reports made as
to the condition and acreage of each of the principal agricultural
products, sui h as corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, potatoes, hay,
cotton, tobacco, rice, etc. As the crops progr ss the prospec'ts are
,'.'flected in monthly condition reports upon each growing crop; such
repol ts being .xhr-..-ci in percentages. 100 representing a normal
condition. Condition reports, expr' ,.-d in per( eiintagft,- ot a normal,
when published, are coupled with a statement of the averages of
similar repuris at corresponding dates in ipreceding years usuallyy
10-year averages); by such comparison the condition of crops in
coml,-rison with the average condition is readily obtain,.d. At
harn est lime the yields per acre are ascertained, which, being mul-
tiplied by the acreage figures already ascertained, give the pro-
duction.
The following : tilvulalion is designed to show, in abbreviated
form, the s1i pe of monthly i'.p reports of the Biireau of Crop
Estinma(es, in 1914, and tlh. time and nature of inqlliiry for each
crop. Slight modification.s may be, made from time to timei.
Characters are lil..-,d under montflhsin which replrt.4 are published.
Explanatory key is given at the top of the tabulation.






Table .shovi.ng the scope of lthr u ,'k in i ol d in thi p1 ''al/Iion of thn .I ,, Irl
[Key: (A) Aermagv: (C'a) acro.ig' in per cent of last year; (b) number if biro.,ding sow ; cuip,.,.drl .wilh last year; (c) ',:'llIii [im;
(d) los&ex from cl';s; (c,) losses from exposure; (F) finril estimates (aiv ,age', prodil, ii',. value); (f) Ipr cent (fr %I 'ps
sli[)I[',l out of county when' vrown; (h) number stock hiog.' compared with year unw': I ciii bur silh,: (mi) prcent.r ,. f i'f
merchantable quality; (n) [iiiil,,'r; (P) iromiiu hi (", p) |er cent &if full crop (io, liiuiul: (q) |i.'liyi : (r) .1 1.i.' r." iiiilim
ifter ulIandonnivil" l si siipplieq on farms; (v) valih's; prices of products in:irlkcI (\ -e in January are asked eac. ii, 'ii ,
(w) wis-ht 'pr Ihiishl --or lruice; (Y) yield per acre-or culdimv.]


Crop.


Jan.


(*Creals:
Barley- ....................... v+--
Hi if k li.:tl................... v+
Corn .......................... v+
O ats .......................... v -
R ice ............. .... ..... ... .. 4. :
R \ ................ ... v+
\V h,'at (all) ................ I+
W heat (. prin g... ........ .....
W li,'it. (\w ini er)............... j .....

A\ f: ILf hiayv. ... .. .. .. ; v4-
A ll:,lf *-. *(, .. .. .. ... ..... I, v +
Ilh .'1, ,1 ed
C('anadian pteas. .
Clover, li;y. ....... ...... +
Clover seed -- v +
Cow pe r ............ .. ... ......
lli\* (illi+
li-i'., (tam e) ... ...... ...............
I1 IfV (\oml .................... ..v+
Kaflr corn.................... ......
Meadows..........................
Millet..................... ....
Pastunres-----a ....--.....-.... v
Tin'lohy, hay................ v+


Ma:r.



sf

sf


Apr. M;y.




i ..



c re


I. r.


.


-- sf .
'. A .'. '



\' '. ... '.


. .. .. ... C



.. .. ... c
5

c....... .......


J line.



Ac


Ac



c

c
C

'' c
c
''. ;1 "


C


C




-1


July



c


c
Ac
c
s
c
C


kill:



se
Ac
c
sc
e
Al'q

c
I'll


C c

c c

.C C
c YC;I"



A

c c


c c
C C
.


I.
C




C,
C
I (.





C
(.'
'! p
c






C
c






i e
I *(j


V l'q
C

I. c
(Ac
ii,


1 (c(. 'Nov. lPec.



q I"I
I'q w I'
CF
q F (
... AcF
i I,' -








C Y
i .. ......
' .p .. .. "


S | i .. .
S ... .. .....,.4 ..... v



i c | p ... ...
V' .' .. .'' .' .... "


. ..* *



. . .





Table sho, itj the ,cope of the work involved in the lirJpara, ton of the scvcral crop riports-Continued.


Crop. Jan. Mar. Apr. May. June. July. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Fruits:
Apples ...................... v+ ........................ c c c c c P f
Ap-l'--. California. --...-... .-..... ....c ........ ......... ........ ...........
Blackberries.................. ........ ........ ........ ........ c c p ................. .......
Cantaloupes.. .. .................................... c c c c ........ ........ ........
Cranberries................... ................................ ................ c c Y q...............
+W

Grapefruit, Fliri'la.......... v+ c c c c c c c c c YOpq
Grapes............................... c cv cv cv "p11v v
I.eonn. Clifornia c..... v+ c .c c c c c c 'c Y.[pq ]I
I.iin-', Ilorida............... v+ c c c c c c c c c i,,
Olives, California......... ................................ c c c c c c ', p
O ..................... v+ c c c c c c c c c Y%pq
Peaches ..................... ........ ........ c c c cv cv c 'Iilv v ..... ..
Pears.................v ..... v ....... c c c c ev cv cv '1"v v
Pin,'-alpiles, Florida................... c c c cv cv %pv v v v ........
Prunes, California............................................ c c c c 'p ................
R a .rri .s ... ............................................ c % p ....... ....... ................ .
Stru\\ Ijr' ii,,r .i. ............. ........................ .................. p
Watermelons .......................... .......'c .c c c n ...... ................ ........
Vegetables: M
Beans (dry).................. v ................................ c c c 1 --- --
Beans (lim a)................................................. c c c c [ .. .. ........
Beans (velvet), Florida....... ........................ c c c c c c c p
Cabl,':gos.....s................. v+c c c C c c Y p 1) .............
Cauliflower, California ....... p........ ........c c %........ ........ ........ ........ ........
Celery, California................... p ....................... c ........ ........ ........ ........
Onions ....................... v+ ........................ c c c c Y p ...............
Potatoes ..................... v+ c c c ........ Ac c c c Pq F
Sweet potatoes............... v+ ................................ Ac c c c Pq F
Tomatoes ..................... ........ c c c ..v pv........... v v c pv .....






Miscellaneous:
.lmonlds, California ..........
Broom corn ...................
Co t on ........................
'Flax;.e'd .....................
Hem p ........................

H oney ........................
H ops .........................
Peanuts ......................
lan inmg ......................
P'low ingi ......................

Sorgihiim .....................
Suii li ~ !i'i ...................
Sut'ir ~m ....................
Tolkicco ......................
Walnuts (English), Cliforuia..
W ool ........................
Live stock:
HIorses..... .. .
M ules .........................
M ilch cows ...................
Iliih r cattle .................
All cattle .....................
SIi,'OD? ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ....
Lamns, ....... ..... .....
Swin ........................
Hloney bees, colonies.........


nv+
nv
nv+
nv+


nv+
v+
11 V+


v+
v+
v+


........ ........
........ ........
........ ........
........ ........
........ ........

........ ........
........ ........
........ ........
........ ........


c


C


c
C :1('

C


C


c
c
Ac
Ac
c


c
C





C
Ac
c
Ac
c


C C c
c e V"":p
c c c
C, C
c c e
c C C
c c Y1; I)

Y ........ ........
c c Yq
C c c



c c c
c c c
c c e
c c c
C C CV


Y
C
c
Pq

I )


F


.,Yp

V


(LeI . . I. . '. .
do .

de ) ... ... ........ ........ ........ .lie
. b...... l ........ ........ ..........he


NOTE.-Reports of prices are also olitnined monthly for butter, eggs, chickens, milk, veal calves, timothy seed, cotton.
',.eI, voi iitn-lI meal, and ikaii,; for sov beans in January, February, October, November, and l)ecember; for black walnuts,
hickory ntin. |i,. ,II, and i ki,, s in January, October, November, and December; forturnips and pop corn in J iit:rv, Feb-
Ii:t1 ." oM iiiblr, and Dcce nil'r: for i.nnili',':ii!; and maple sirup in March, April, M.i,, and June; for chestnIut in Octobrr,
N'jI\m)ibr, and December; uud fur cane 'itup and iinhuin sirup, in Florida, in Decembcr.


Cep


"Pq"


C,

00


...... ........ ........
....... ........ ........
....... ........ ...


+ ....


.... ........
.... ........
.... ........
. . .


*+........ de...


.......: !..?....





BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


METHODS OP CROP REPORTING.
The reports issued by the Bureau of Crop Estimates during the
year include data relating to arreages, conditions, yields, supplies,
qualities, and values of farm crops, numbers by classes, condition,
and values of farm animals, etc. The data upon which such
estimates are based are obtained through a field service consisting
of a corps of paid State field agents and crop specialists and a
large body of voluntary crop reporters composed of the following
,]bs.es: County reporters, township reporters, individual farmers,
and several lists of reporters for special inquiries.
The field service consists of trained field agents, one assigned
to a single State or group of smaller States which in the aggregate
corresponds in area and crop production to one of the larger States,
who devote their entire time to the work and who travel throughout
their territory during the crop season, personally inspecting crop
areas, conferring with State and local authorities, private and
commercial agencies, and others interested in crop-reporting work.
Each agent supplements his own observation with reports from
a corps of selected crop reporters in his territory, who report directly
to him and are wholly independent of the regular crop reporters
who report directly to the bureau.
In addition to the regular force of State field agents the bureau
has a small force of crop specialists, one or more for each of the
important special crops, such as cotton, tobacco, rice, and truck
(ips, possessing the same qualifications and performing the same
duties as the field agents, but devoting their entire time to special-
izing on the particular crops to which they are assigned and travel-
ing throughout the entire region in which they are grown. These
crop specialists also have selected lists of crop correspondents
reporting directly to them.
Both the State field agents and the crop specialist.; are in the
classified service and are appointed only upon certification by the
Civil Service Commission after a rigid competitive examination.
They are selected for their special training and qualifications for
the work and, as they a'-quire knowledge and experience, will
become recognized authorities in crop production in ca.ich State.
There are approximately 2,800 counties of agricultural import-
ance in the United States. In each the departnenthas a principal
county reporter who maintains an organization of several as-istants.
These county reporters are -elected with special refer.nce to their
qualifications and constitute an efficient branch of the crop-
reporting service. They make the county the geographical unit
of their reports, and, after obtaining data each month from their
assistants and supplementing these w ith information obtained
from their own observ.ttion and knowledge, report directly to the
depart neit at Washingto,.
In practically all of tle tovwnsliips and \oting precincts of the
United Status in which farming operations are extensively carried






GOVERNMENT CROP REPORT.


on the department has "township" reporters whn make their
immediate nighbirhood arn:i with whih tl,,y are p]r;onally
familiar the i -'ograplhical bi:t:-i of riaprts, wlii'h thv also seod
directly to the department eath month. There are about 32,01,'
township reporters.
Finally, at the end of the prowinia season a large number of
individual farmers and planters report on the results of their (,, *j
individual farmin' opi-rations durif,, the year; valuable, data are
also secured from 30:>,i) 0 mills and elevators.
Because of the speialized nature of the ,ol tni crop the reports
concerning it are handled separately ircmni rop..rts on all other
crops. In addition to the regular cstimat', of the fItjte agents.
the cotton crop specialist, and the county and t, -4i ip reporters,
the bureau obtains reports in a'reaze, yields, p,-rri.tajc xi inned.
etc., from many thousands special re-porters who are iniliniatelv
concerned in the crop, incluidinj practically all the ginners.
TRANSMISSION OF REPORTS TO BUREAU BY CORRESPONDENTS.
Previous to the preparation and issuane of the bureau's reports
each month the corrc.ponilents of the several classes se nd their re-
ports separately and independently to the department at Wash-
ington.
In order to prevent any possible across. to reports which relate to
sper-ulativo crops, and to rend'-r it absolutely impossible for pro-
mature information to be derived from them, all of the reports
frum the State field a-.nt-. as well as th,,e fromn the crop spe-
cialists, are sent to the- Seiretarv of Azriiulture in specially pre-
pared env-elopes. By an arrangement with the postal auh'iritlis
these envelopes are delivo:'l to the S, rtare of Ajricultiire in
sealed mail pouches. These pouches are opec.1, only by l7 Qo r,'-
tair-v or A:.9sistant Secretary, and the i *p. ri.-, with (.-,1-' Un,,Iken.
i.re inimediately plare-1 in a s-a.f' in the Se, !far 's office, wlier,'
tliey remain qpaloel until the morning! of the day on \vi,ich the bu-
reau report is issued, when they are delixvil e t to he stati i-tian bv
the. Sc--cretary n"r the Assistanit Sef-r'tary. The c,, iibiniii','i f4,'.
eopenine the safe in which such doc:.nients are 1lept is k mo n only
to the Sereretary ndl the Assistant c. .rcturv ,f A .ricu!t .r,. Reports
from field agnts and r,1i, specialists ri-iding at p,,iisit more than
-00 miles frnim Was-hiington ;ire sent by T'l',r ph. in cipher. '['he
Reports from the com uty ,corrosponlents, tov-n-li1 correTsp', ;lent-.
and other voluntary crop report.-rs are sent to the Chief of the
i Bureau of Crop Estimates by mail in :,-alh.I evivelopes.
PREPARATION OF REPORTS.
|The reports received by the department fr,,m the different ,las,,-
of individual ctorrespondent:- are :t,:1Iail(ed and 'ompil',il adl .li.
figure for each separate State coniput'ld. After Hi,, r1,01ort' -'.'i"
the different counties aro tabul-ated a true weighted figure for the






BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


State is secured by taking into consideration the relative value
which the total acreage or production of each county in the State
bears to the total acreage or production of the State. The weight
figure showing the value of the county is applied to the acreage,
yield per acre, or condition, whiche\e er itmay be, and from the totals
of the weights and the extensions a weighted average for the State is
ascertained. The averages for speculative crops (corn, wheat, oate,
and cotton) are determined by computers who do not know the
particular State to which their figures relate.
The work of makin-!z the final crop estimates each month culmi-
nates at sessions .f1 lc. crop reporting board, composed of five mem-
bers, presided over by the statistician and chief of bureau as chair.
man, who.'e services are bruilight into requisition each crop-report-
ing day from among statistic ians and officials of the bureau, and
field agents and crop spe( ialists who are called to Washington for
the purpose.
The personnel of the b,,ard is changed each month. The meet-
ings are held in the office of the statistician, which is kept locked
during ses:-ioiis. no one bin" allow-vl to enter or leave the room or
the bureau, and all telephones being disconnected.
When the board lhs assembled, reports and telegrams regarding
speculative crnps from field agents and crop specialists, which have
been placed unopened in a safe in the office of the Secretary of
Agriculture, are delivered by the Secretary, opened, and tabulated;
and the figures, by States, from the s,.veral classes of correspondents
and agents relating to all crops dealt with are tabulated in con-
venient parallel columns; the board is thus provided with several
separate estimates covering each State and each separate crop,
made independently by the respective classes of correspondents
and agents of the bureau. ea, h reporting for a territory or geographi-
cal unit with which he is thoroughly fain iliar.
Abstracts of the weather condition reports in relation to the dif-
ferent crops, by States, are also prepared from the weekly bulletins
of the Weathl-r Bureau. With all these data before the board, each
individual member computes independently, on a separate sheet
or final computation slip, his own estimate of the acreage, condi-
tion, or yield of each crop, or of the number, condition, etc., of
farm animal,, for each State separately. These results are then
compared and discussed by the board under the supervision of the
chairman, and the final figures for each State are decided upon.
The estimates by States as finally determined by the board are
weighted by acreage or other figures representing the relative impor-
tance of the crop in the n.-.p:c.t ire States, the result for the United
States being a true weight average for each subject.
METHOD OF ISSUING REPORTS.
Reports in relation to cotton, after being prepared by the crop
reporting board and personally approved by the Secretary of Agri-
culture, are issued on or about the first day of each month during







the ..ro.wiiij ?.r a- ,ii. and I reel], LS i .ti il'r_" to fi't principle farm (ri ,,.
and1 live -tle.k ablti the -e\ .*'ith ,i ',iL ith ii of ,,: 1! :,,,,ith. In
ordtler il1.l tie' ilfiii'rlltion '.!lt ;.,d ii 11l '.'.-' reports may be iL.ide
available .-'i IIIlllt. ,n ,ii.-ly thror_'h,'>ut : ke < utiie UL iL-., Stal,:. they
.Ire handld.l at al, xi'lluoe.1,ed1 hour il report (hdays. io all applicant
and to thl.. We-t.rTI Unitii T'l-i:i. pli Co. and tie Postal T4.._r.ilh-
C'able Co., wuich have bi.i h 1iwlt-. in the DepIrtmenI of A.- i-
cultuIre, i,, tirafii.-ii -i!! to the .\' x l:i Ia..s and to tihe r'..-:. Th,.-
(Oinlanirii,..:- Vt) ric:.-r',cdl th,..i lini-.. at the d- i .: i,.il time, azdl
iirward iniinudliatrly the f -iir, of most intl.:,.'.-t. A multi'irapli
statement, -(.'i,,t:Iii1L .iili estimates (-. c i,.iition or a (i tiCiOll, t _i,'thl 'r w ith 1it' 'iii *,: l, dlil ('.ti1ili *s 0 i'1 IIh Iii!, L'.Lr5
for <,>npariative pi,'l,,':':. is )pr',arI.'Ld and U-aild iiniie.diattLey to
new.-paper pu1.liation,:-.
The crop e.tiitinaitt fir the Stat aninl for the Cinited SI.t,.s as a
whole are telegraphed iiiiietdiattly to the Weather Bi.reaii station
director of each State. in wh ,-,e office c, pic:- are print,'l and mailed
to all the local p:perz, in the Star.- so that the crop e:-liiiat..- of the
bureau are publi-hed throughout the Unite.d Slates within 24 hours
of their issuance.
Promptly after the issuing of the report, it, to,.rthet with other
statistical information of value to the farme: and the country at
large, is pulishled in the A.ri ulttural Outlook, a publi, nation of
the Bureau of Crop Eslim t.s. under 1lth authiritv '.i th SI.,.retary
of A.ricilture. A.\n edition of over 2_2-O(' v.,piLs is ii-tributell
to the correspondents auid other intere:.-ted parties thr,-,Juhout the
United States each month.

PART II.-BASES OF CROP ESTIMATES.
ACREAGE ESTIMATES.
For many years, in fact .-ii(e the biir,:iu was organized in 1S(,f2,
it has been the practice to ac.,C.pt the es.tiiiaites of a rre'.zeplanted
to different crops as reportedly by the Bureau of the Censis every
10 years.1 Then in the fir-st year i',llkwir,, the c..nsi- tie crop
reporters of this bureau would estimate the a,'reage plant as a
percentage of the acre',Ie rc PrIt'd by the census for the pire liiij
year; the second year iilowiiz. the ce:.-l.us the areaa,': woild be
estimated as a perceiitaije of the :i', reae estin.ate<1 the lr,'(diiir
year, and so on until linires for [lihe next censu.- are avai'.0dle.
Theoretically, if there is no bias or tiLnd(iei'\" to iunldere-tilnle or
overestimate on the part of crop reporter., the a.reate estinate- by
this method for the tenth year after a cen.-us would agree lith
the acreage reported by the 'ceisus for that year. A w'eatk pint
in the system which has ,I-a1. bi.,en re,, ,nizel is the fiact that iili-

1 Prior to 1o,0 the census did not show a;rea,-'r' of cr',-n-mr,'1v product i .a:
hence in the earlier vears the .cr"'.irkl basis was ol'taii.- l.y dividuing the censt
report of total product ion by an est imated yield per acre.


(;(I\ I~lUNS i:NT ( N011 KEPU1;"S.





BI REAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


vidual crop reports are not free from bias, and there appears to be
a f:iirly uniform tIeidency to either overe.-:timiate or underestimate
the a:-r(-ag-e, the res-lit berg j. cumulative error which in 10 years
is a-pt to result in a wide discrepancy between the estimates of this
btin'a u and the ,-,'ures of the census. To illustrate, if the Bureau of
the Census should report 10,000,000 acres planted to a given crop, and
there should be a uniform tendency on the part of the crop reporters
of this bu re au to underestimate the acreage of thi's crop an average
of 2 per cent annually, this bureau might estimate the acreage as
9,800,000 acres the first year after the census, as 9,604,000 acres the
t-,C-ond year, as 9,412,000 acres the third year, and so onl until the
tenth year, when the bureau's estimate for the crop would be
8,170,000. If during the 10-year period there had actually beeu
no ('ha nge in the ar.-rage planted to the particular crop in question,
and the census should again report an acreage of 10,000,000, the
result would be a rianifest discrepancy of 1,830,000 acres between
the figures of this bureau and those of the census. Further dis-
crepancies would appear in the yield per acre and the total yield.
At or near the cho_-, of harvest each year agents and crop reporters
of the bulre-.n estim: te the yield per acre, in bushels, pounds, or
tunts according to the nature of the product. The estimate of
total production is r.-adily obtained by multiplying the yield per
acre thus obtained by the previously estimated total number of
acres.
It will be observed fliHt the method of estimating the yield per
acre differs materially from the method of estimating the total
:c.r ag, te acreage estimate being ba-'ed upon a percentage of the
preceding year's acreage, thus carr-ing on from year to year any
.rror mace in any previous year; whereas the yield-per-acre esti-
Imat,, bang based upon the one year and not referring to any
former year, is not affected by any error of a previous year. A
constant yearly underestimate of, say, 2 per cent in the acre-
age will be inanified to a difference of about 10 per cent in
5 yearsand 20 per cent (approximately) in 10 years. A constant
yearly underestimate of 2 per cent in the yield per acre will not
be magviiied in 5 or 10 years, but, on the other haud, in comparing
one yetr's .-.timuated yield with a1otlher the errors will be neutral-
ized; 1hat i.,, the effect would be the same, so far as compartive
value is concerned, as though no error had occurred. In short,
biasel errors in acreage e-,timnates by percentage grow from year to
yeai; biased errors in yield-per-acre estimates neuiralize each
oth r.
The Bureau of the Census enumerates total acres and total pro-
lti--tion of crops; if yield per acrt is wanted it is obtained by
diAdling ii, th produi-ti,,i by the acTr,. The Bureau of Crop Esti-
ilt, s obl1,iiii. directly fro, its ,.cni.-' and corrvspontdehits estimates
,1" a- reatgc (,a. described) and yield per acre and arrives at the total
?reduction by multiplying acreage by yield per acre.





iU\ El: N E NT CROP RIK: P( 1, 1 '.


YottWbi1.-t 1':iii'. the niiii..l ,. in ;iilihod-s of provedr (1 the
,_, ijii,.,',.: *,f vi,',id ,,r :,,'rel.. b.,ii 1 by. the lBurn;'1! of C'rop l%,i-
nr:1IT -" ill ,*'1-,is V, :('r.- andl thet-: ,. of yiehld 14 r1. i"'", \i-ji. ,I t,,.
tlh. ,t-it..,u% with !\w\IL-. ,'..I'.ti i>e', do ,,, vary vridNv.

LIVE-STOCK EST IM.ATES.
ri,'.ieT l he Saini. lill!,,-lltv i- ,. "niiered y iJii bureau in
its <-1iiLL.tIe- <', tl1 num1'. rs of diitrernit (j.-:, I lire I'si[dk. i. d.,
,.. 1,n',, la ,lF eum ,lati,. ,t ,c'Ior rI -I n i 2 fr1,, a i.ii,,Jl i 1 'l, .-
to tillih'r ii id_-iv aiiiilL or ov.It. Ihi,', le iLd the *'Iii-' quent ajt ili-
(.I lit I I I i I'l ( lir' i l,. l-. )' "11L., I the C( .l' iI, fL ii i e fir.-. y,..
annd 1 ., n ei 1 iii, '.H 1 1, -i in I it c ,i;.- x..r n i il the xi -
sus. A ifurlliier ofh itlsiirtir-a and1 tLe fi.-u,.s-of the, '<,-t-. a dbrtwecnany t-A,,,, I-
suq years, re.uits from 1akiiig [lie O.'ii.-is difi.,'C d.st.,-',s [oi the 1 t. I ,ii i I I r, L.dili sfirthatinthe ,.-._i
sheep aiid riw ne d llef ..*..*- ii nal,- ,1 not e.IL, r, in l, m.,:L -n..ofthe ii,,
(li', I 'i.aI llSt,' of hie lj- l vie i flunctui ii ,'i. inll numbers due to
iiat iiral i ct'Ir'.-e1 durii -a ft\ %Ii ,,, .-.n.in-,''in :ind 'th1 laree d,. ,,
due to sla.-]iiter in thie a-.. of -ii. other causes in thi- 4 a,. 1,;" -,i, p d:i-. i'rt1i, inter m,.Ili,.-
While the Bureau of '-i,,p L-li'n:rics hasin i'ecent \i"I- takui
*ciuizan.,e of the t11dwncy to bias on lh,.: '.0t 1of its fill lrc ;i
has endia\ ored to nuike stli, all\,v,.;,ie th'refor as woi;ld ci.rr'"
the errors invlvd4. ,i l.$dj (he. ih.,- it i 4 ,firllis .:S r:i:,:4 t the
returns of 1.,x ai**.-', i:-,rs in diffi r.tit Sti, and sil i ('flier reliable
sounri e. of inforinljiii ans are a\ ithl)e, ma-: felt the ni,,d for at
better method of estimaliu!_ ; creLiccs ant liv,., s*turk belWt.-,ii the
census years.
USE OF RURAL MAILCARRIERS.
As an experiment, and with the c:.lperatioi of the Pc.i Offce
Department, an att'._mnpt wa nmulde in1, ,ie wiit tr ii-i'iit.,. of 1913-14
to ,.-,i ure aciurat e duuta as to ai.rea.,i- ,l.!t-l t I, al.l llumbers of live
slr, k in the State of M.irylainil ani 6 t .,ulies in Soi0tl ('.rlii:,
by mans of shliort, :iiip i. schi.i-dl, 1.it in mail box>. a,, <.iic
[ectel by the rural mail ,irri,'r.. In theory tii.- plaiti ,-bould
result in Complete returns as al i lr'te as a eeu.-.' but. in pra( tii
it as- :,.olud( that less liian -P) p].r cnt of the i'rm', rs v. ,l.d till ,iit
the d- results by hIbis mt.Ili-,l can not b 4e( iird wiihouLt (1) a p,,.-ol.
'an. as a-lld actual enumi,.-ition y ti6:- rm!al mail c'arriers -iiiin;.ir
to that of tlhe census einumti ralor: (2) lehislain making iti ,ni pul-
iory upuln farmers to supply tle informatiii, reqiA,.-ted; or (3) a
lii'44 caii.pai'r1n through t f1 ii aii od b r ,",- i'is to d ,'l:it 111't
t':,rmcr nTi, tlie ida,. of fii-liiij jiif.jrij'iatioij of a :-1aki-i ,l nl:tur'
r.t ,'nrdins tlieir liiti.-ii_, primi: ily fur thei, own benct Ji'id jii, 'i-
d(nl.illv for the bct-iefit of oflP. -






BL:IEA\U OF CROP ESTIMATES.


TYPICAL FARMS FOR ESTIMATING ACREAGE AND LIVE STOCK.
The experinmnt in utilizing the services of rural mail carriers
for w._lVg an ',t;':l enumeration of acreages and of live stock
having proved i n: !equate and iiuns-Aisfactory, even as a basis
for c..-ti:n:,ing, ii was decided to establish a selected list of typical
farmers in each county in the United Slates who will agree in ad-
v ai ,-, to co(oprate with the department to the extent of furnish-
ing accraVo '-t.ftiments of acrea.ge? and live stock on their farms
for a series of y,' -,i. These reports will establish a basis for com-
p;'ri.-,-n with the ',.'iisiis figures and will enable the department to
estimate with a hgh degre of accuracy the changes which take
place ,mnniaily between cerie._.,es. In future years it will be a
simple m:,i t. r to aIply the rate of increase or decrease in acreages
and live stock whidh is found to take place on the selected typical
farms in each country to the total number of farms reported by the
Bureau of the Ce( s.-i, and the re-'iti. can be used to check the
estimates prepared ol the percenta.e.e basis under the present sys-
tem. A much high' degree otf accuracy will also be possible with
ce nsus returns available every 5 years, as will be the case hereafter,
instead of only once ii 10 years as heretofore.
THE "NORMAL" VS A BASIS OF CONDITION REPORTS.
Special Ton- ieraIionhas been given for many years to the so-
called iii-_,rmial, repreo ntiiig a condition or yield of 100 per cent,
in terms of which all tI crop condition estimates of this bureau
are expressed. An obje_ in to the use of this term and what it
represents, as a ba./is forcrop reporting, arises from its apparent
varuei?,,,ss and the fact tlit, the yield represented by it is different
for each locality and evenfor each farm, thus requiring explana-
tion in order to be understood. The principal advantage of the
term" ,final" is }'svchlb.al in that it is based onafundamental
conceptionn which is fairly uniformm and clear in the minds of all
practical farmers, from whon over 99 per cent of the crop condi-
tion reports of this bu rea al. '. '. .ived.
But little oG,.trvatir,, and experience is required to demonstrate
that the a',aae farrn.r think of his crop as "crops" and not in
matlhematical trn'is of p.'.'c.s or averages, although he can
readily exp.c.-; the (.-tiliiate!i ykld of the crop in term,; of bushels,
pund.-, 'or t ins. When the farnir -,. 'ws. the sectd in .-pring he kl iws
jmu-t.- wliai the field ought to yi,.1l and if the sea.i n is fa',,rable he
expecl- to lihiwest that Tihl. This e(pectcl yield is a' "full
crop," such '.s hlie hl.i- lar:.-td nii the pia.t in favorable seasons.
It is neither a a\.ximum p, iSibldor <-\ ien a bumper crop, which
occurs only at rare int..-al .\-hi co'dliti,,ns are exceedingly
fa-v ,rable, nor a medium or small 'r,1 grown under ,ie ,r more
adverse conditions. Neitlher is it \n average (crup, which rarely






GOVERNMENT CROP REPORTS.


occurs because of the effect on the av,.rnvw ,,f C.xTmly lw or (.x-
treimelv liih vi.lds in ix.,plt ',al ~.- -. I-'. i i' l.t i. r the typical
(Crip rl'p.. ri, ,iiI I' tlhe ;. i 2, i a iser' ,.: of '_ '"' '(. ,1. vi Ii.. out
of andi-,.rtiJ,,i alt,,,_.. the ,. realbii,] .' p andthe iie,.
or Ih'-'e lireqiie t p..i tii crop ailiii,,. Tli i.. expe,,.''. yi.1,1 at piant-
i tim, t tn ilie full cr'p ilat the farmer L.i- in iiii'x wiji, he thinks
of lth vi,.ld he (-+.eo'ts to hi!l't L or the t l pi'al ',, r" r. it
by th- -v,'r,.,-e of -Yl,,d cr ps- only, is the '"r 'i j',il 4'r st.i.i',L.'d
.1' iItLc by this 1 ur1 t i i e011ir expro .- n cl liiti'n fi fl diri l '. r,,i,',
sea',.in ail yi,,'l at lirv t.-it Iine.
The (ile-'(.rv ii'ii is .' ,n _.tim,-- ;,',-1,'1 ;- a riticism of the use of
the 1 1rmal. tih:'t a iiriin.il crop is .iit',-t -v' -.,i -.,wn in lif. rep) l t-'
(if the bur.iia -\ little r fl, .iiin 'vill >1 i.,, tilit ia i,., il':l yield
for an .entire Sta;e or the uniil-d Slat._'- is no to be oXi,.'.1ed Ncept
on rare oc<'o.ilI-I. J!n:>L_,ii e tlihe vi.d1.- of tO i0i" ;' t r s in
wid,.ly s'atteredl, t 111 ilie tUlnited )tit s; by s: ii i1itii, ,f the
term n,'rnmal a.- a "I'i ill crop, or expectation of yi.1d at plaiitin,
time, an indi\ idtial will nit s't, ,re a ri. i lal yield v.'v r,, or
even every two yi.rs. inj'l' *t; .,1 irdvidual s, i(.-d a 'inial
crop on lthe av,.rae every tlinr.e yVeI,:l )y the law of probability
the chance of all 10 farin-,-s; getting a ni,,w-A. crop in the :-:iino V-.ar
is 1 to 30. If returns i i' inldiiduals w.'r' published, many n'l rinUls
would be sh ,wn, but the frei.uency vould be 1( in a county
average, still less in a S'at, averao:., id r;'n in a Uiiited States
average.
The crop prospect is a subject of vtal intere-t to farmers and,
like the wveatler, it is a p(erlllnial to(ic of disc.:~--i n dOnriric, the
crop season. Alni.t in\arial:ly farners sp.ak of the *rlt,..s
as fine, good, fair, or pi,,r, and the- describe the crop as "full
crop, "go,,d crop, "averraire crop "(nme. ii nf- less tI,- iI a full crop
but a little better Ithan the rial aver'ze), l,,v.e-f, urt,. of a co.p,
or "one-half of a .r '1, ,r lO.sM frequently "75 per cent of a uril,1"
"50 per cent of a cr p, 1" etc. In ne South th e cr ton crop ros-
pect is usually sj inken of in termsif bales, a..' "th,'e-fIuirtf Isiale
per acre,i" 9o010-3iu11f hla' per acin or nt-til rdi halO ]per aort'."
Few farmers 11in'k of 1ii ir cn, psin tlrms of eoxa.'t n1llthinati,'.al
iavcra-s or, in I'Lt, L iIw whiiat th ex(' ,ctavraL'ego r.aly is, 1, 'ail,'is
very few of them keep a,-cillr.ito r, r ,'ds or t: .:e i lie trouble to trick ,
ax eraneos fmm them. Itiseq'iA:ll tr thatf.irm.',donot2eueraily
speak of'ropclndilionsi:.ld ci.'irI'j ".stsin l ii .ofan t'ma1.l, but
wlien the farmer crop r'p,,rtirs re told tt .l i ,t h'ic rnl i.-i ti, .f-.aio
as their coieple iiin of a full to yield and are expeiOt'i-d to yeld in fav.'ble 1':,-, ns. a.!d that
this n,,rmal is r',]re:teit'd b 100, iij ," ha\,'\ ,i', difficult\ in
clearly under.st ding what is i.ea It by lr,. lirinal or in e.XPiR\--i Il
their estimates iu 1>er( enta,'*s )f ii'nirmal.
Reports of crop condition ,.,roe..,ed ill poci-enei -l ( 'f I 1111ii mayv
indicate in general way theprubablc yield, but .1. Iliy'V d.o not






0IREA1T OF CROP ESTIMATES.


include the variations in acreage it would be impracticable to fore-
-ast. total produ< ion accurately from condition estimates alone.
Hence, to avoid orors in the interpretation of condition estimates
by those who do not have the average figures before them, the
bureau converts tie condition estin"aes into quantitative esti-
mates of yield peraore, which, applied to the estimated a'-reage
of a given crop, inmate the probable total prod( c I ion.
The question is f'-quently asked why the crop estimates are not
(1) based on the average crop (presumably the average for the past
5, 10, or 20 years), o (2) on the crop of the preceding year. or (3)
simply estimated for he present year in terms of bushels, pounds.
or tons.
The answer to the fist proposition is that no "average crop" can
properly be said to exst, or rather it wuld not correspond to any
crop actually harvest el, because the average for any given period
is unduly influenced ly the exceptionally !.w or hu !h yields of
abnormal seasons. In other words, the average is a iiictu.ining
i._teod of a fixed standard. Furthermore, it wuuld be exceed-
iniy difficult to obtain sa-fi-factory eztimaies of crop prospects
a.io' on average yields- m farmer crop reporters, who constitute
the bulk of the bureau's leld force in rel)porlin on crop conditions
during the growing season Farmers as a rule do not keep a record
of aver,:ge yields on their f.rnis or for their communities. They do,
of c.,'re, remember abnomi.lly high or low yields, but they in-
vamily l.ave such yieldsout of consideration when estimating
crop prospects. If the a vege ( rm), say, for a lpericod covering the
lit five vear:., wOre adoptees the :-taidad., it would be necessary
for the bivaii1 to e.tinmitc hie avera'-e co:-ndition for ear'h month
of i le growing season and t4 aver ge yield for each year in each
county and township in theLnited Siates (voer 30,000) for each
of the 'rops included in the .ttin1at(-s (50 or more) and, to furnish
each crop reporter with the av:zoe product ion of -:. i cr-op in his
territory for use in making iu his monthly esliinates during the
year. This would entail an erbrrnonr amotiunit of additional work,
and the avor-ige 'c.,oild be un. ;iisfar-tory because the smaller the
iunitof tIon itory thlie gi eat r wo ii, be the fluct ti nation in the a-verage
or lLind.;-d ,',isd by crop f:,i! res or occasional bumper yields.
A single illustration will suffice make this point clear. Taking
the '.', cro, of K-.nsas as an e4inple, the average yield of corn
1p0 ar, in the State of Kansas fcicic.li of 10years, bo.ginnin_'with
1903, w:X .s follows: 20 9, 27.7, $.9, 22.1, 22, 19.9, i9, 14.5, 23,
3.2. The av<,ia- f:,r the 10 tr.- '20.1i bMlil:cls; the average for
i.e .t 5 year is 15.9 b0sl0l- br the pre,'fIling 5 years 24.3 .
b-sliels. On ihe otli.'r h 11:1. h, ,lea of a ncrInal crop, n0' a full
,'r', was nearly consta)nt, .ii ig 3 1." for the lastI 5 years, 3 .5 fi'r the
pir,'.',lig 5 y,':,u.-5, aid 31.6 iur lhe 0 y. Tlie -'or to the -'c',ond prm(,p''ion, namely, a comparison of
tis vIr' s (,i], wmth I.he crop of tI hprvedina year, is that. while





GO% -L-N3LEN'-%T CL'RP REI'UPI'TS.


fiarmcrs rumiembier failnr v.'ell liff- roi,'litii u taid vi.lcid ,i croil- for
the p,a. t y,.--r, tl ,y d,, not r,1neu-mbiwr thl,.1m V.,it, ,*1tl[( ul it (*1>e.;trti, -'
ur tit ur,..- ti) bIt' ,,il,. to use tli'iii as a stant .ri d f c ,'i ,.l i i-i 1, '..r
ihll- u\ .'. lFurihli iii, .,, i. 1 1 iP- (,f I;-L v ..," III.iv hi:ve b :ii.
l111L i l 1111 lV )l } -,i_ or 1).%V, i ;, I v tild th ,i ,i 'I. I ii k' a v ... r -
of c, 111.'r1in F,.'r iil-i-k il V, the yield of rii per -. in K..1 -.I-
W.., L l',"3 liclsiin 1912, 'r 1-! I,,*-r cent of the yiild p.,r a, re in 1911
(14.5 Thu-li.cL). Tie xi.ld il 1913, ati alirirni.illy dry I.'-.-'i, was
only 3.2 11Ai(Als per a'cre, wIdLch was 14 itI. cent of iLe vield in 1912.
If the vild per :'ie c01 corn in Kzizia-s fur 1914 s.lould be 21 biil.iv:
per acre. it would be 656 1por cent of the yield of 1913. It i.- appa-
lllIt 4]j, J),. r
ent, theref,._'e. thiil it] .bormiiially low yield of 1913 is- a most
uDIati-f:(.tLirv ti-is of <'c ma isi-zoii fir the ye.ir 1914.
The third "lIMl,.ilIitii, lItIly, the t.-tinlutiiig of -ioi-' dih,'tly
in teriw.- of bjtshel.. pouiind-,.r ,ii,,: is -,,u inIlines idva-i cd The
objecti ilii totli:.- v-tc.i is l,.r dil iultyil.ti most 1 .pt 1. cxI'ience
fin t,5t lifl:l iXi'r.ii,.,ltely, until ,.i r i] iar\\-:i. the nfitIiji-r, f busicls
or 1pol lts wliif-1 il an acre will vilId, exui, though they mnay lie gi ud
jud'2e., niid lhav\ te t i<-1d bi-l',oe, them. Ex-deric.n,-, has 'Lui,,i.-
straJUd ri.l1Jat,'lly Hi.,. it id much c.1i._Q.:.-' to _- Iii' ]iup',. ;i-
and di.fI.+;L.i,_*: il c ,i ,,j A:;,: ,, .- ],,."i,.d witli am ],,..r, or the .,,-
d.Url'iuii i11' ol1e \<.li' \\ ii i i l,'- ':* ||l(.. ,I !i., it/.-i|k. .iin.'L:- -iI, Ui"' *;'.:-
du tu* 1 *1 111 0 .
dition :and p.i,..-(n-,'ti\ u- ) !.d w itli .-* ,i,,,_. :t.,,,,.:,,'d, .sucli . thaLLi it is to 'tlima' .- wi il.nively whit the Ailili,.i or fieldd
for a giVeiCart. .tlr uall)y -atL i v,.-i time. .\'. .,.., ,, d.-i,.',-
-trate 1 !i, ]iiii.ile to his uii -*ti.-l.,i'i,, while l tukili, at a -i-el1
partly tilled IV ith bi., 1..- t a g.!-- j'. r 1,rtiy fill..d with lil.iii- ''i.
_lift i'r j,' be.. i &c in .,1:,,' thle t.tiidard -_r i:(i ii.il IUl !- .,-i .
by 101Ui p-"r .i,-t. He will pi,,',,vI tiiid that he cai ,-j,,ily i-
1i,.i:e Ill.,i [he shelf or j.."' is tlhr..--',,ur1.- or 75 pf.i c tii lull, and
wlilt. 1- i.y I .., ,le, to .'; *.-. withiinj 25 per cent it ihea -t.iil lnui-
l,..r ,f U ,,k-. khe m)a o;w I.-ifilil, th. a tual nu1, !u' 1''.,t:- iii
Ili., J.ir i .,,, than luiu '...,-' c. lit. with l i ,l u'r t her *i .p:.
It i: ,i.1, i .. ,Iy'.1 .,. f..- 1 it crul', ,i1 p .'r lu h '- ilir,,te the ., i,-i- 't.4

dill, t:itv in <..!ii,, lii,_ w i!]iit 25 per ,,ti l oo fi, aclut l i,-i .-lt-i
iII l1'ti.- 0of il-hl"-. 01 cu...- 1 'r,, estiiiatieI .tat.d .*'iiuplJ at-
lp i, t.,,t:,.c,.-Of a 111Ai,.il ,.r ,."!, r -l.t,;0.:rd w o ,i1d t iieuu iJ, h .
fur wliji l, r....:-ui, wilr..,'.er ,'pi.,i ,ii' ,l.- such c-ti iI.iJ t..- a < ,.i-
Sertid into nililt..,-itral ytal,..'t,iii lt b iliL bum,,ui and tiLe-ji --uij.\-
it.l~. in i tiL -litel.., ,'jiuiiid. ,,, ',i.- :11,' 1',IUp i.ili. ,t in ,.t ii{!;.!iujive
.-lit01-IP i'lll :-1 li Xi\ '-"k tle li:'t- r-' ,,i tlhe ]' .\i',f. *l' n ,i1111! l ;L:. 5 1)
10 V 'ar ;I t 'i.-, tLe.C'
"l' i.- w l,,,,virl:m1jc.,t ,,f -i.tiiidj' ,., l.,-,.- lor '"p']'*',],>..,,, : hta.
b ct v -l 1i r < >, i, 1, l,! a i d r e p (t ,t c +d li y < ., ,- i < ] >, .'e d b I, I i n I l~ ii ..,' : +, +
-ild 1li'l( a.d 1On ev\rv or' .-iin W',iii llic -i~bj".'t has hi (ii '.,i-
'-idt.'red in1 ti s bis .:L i lii' IiuL' i al la: r','Iiii- tl i to ,'.--i.:- iii',,,t
adUvaItN -e aidL fewe.-r diJ-.ad .\'1.il i. Ii any other .'LulLd.Ld.





BUREAU OF CROP ESTIMATES.


The Cai!adi-n Government has adopted as its basis of crop esti-
inma ies the principle of the 10-year average. The 10-year average
]u- also been adopted by the International Institute of Agriculture
at Rome, and the institute is constantly urging its adoption by
the ali. ring countries. G(.eat Britain still uses the 10-year aver-
age as the s.tai',b'd, which is fluctuating. Germany and a few
Cther European countries use the numbers 1 to 5, inclusive, to
re-pi-re.it the condition of excellent, good, fair, poor, or very
1,por. In France the sam,- gr-.ations of conditions are symbolized
by 80 to 100, 60 to 80, 40 to 60, 20 to 40, and 1 to 20. The German
system r,'-.-i.ts in confuisiin because in Germany the number 1
r,.Iprt.:ents the highest condition, while in Swveden it represents
the lowest condition; besides, the terms excellent, good, fair, or
poor are only descriptive and are open to interpretations which
interested speculators an.y de-sire to pla'-e upon them.
ACCURACY OF CONDITION REPORTS.
The quanfit:.tive interpretation by the Department of Agri-
culture of condition l(piprts of principal crops, except cotton, wV,'s
begun in 1911. A review of th(,se interpre-tation:, or forecasts,
shows that those male in June varied an average of 11.2 per cent
from final yield eiiafe.-;; those in July varied 9.6 per cent; in
August 6.7 per -,',lt; in Septmcinhbr 4.3 per cent; in October 3.1
per cent. Generally ;'rec.sits mn:,"le one and two months before
the harvest inquiry are very cl.-e to the final e:stiniaesi of yield.
The above percentages do not reflict the acc- racy of the work
of esiimW ing, but rather reflect the vari:ibl iu.ss of co mnditions
aff, ,'ing g,',,'ing crops, which is shown by (h::.n,-es which take
place after the d:;es to which the condition reports relate. The
condition of a corn crop on August 1 may be noim-uil with a fore-
cast of 35 bushels per acre; but the crop mray be pr.-'1 ically ruined
10 days Luli r by a deva-ating hot wind, and the ,'na:l yield be
but 2 or 3 buihels pci.r acre. The foi r, j)-I are such figures that,
,basI.-,d upon avvr;,'.r- con(liwiols in past yars', Iliere is an even
clhaice or prolu.d.ility th.it the final vi'l-d will be either above
or below the figure forecast. A vari.itihn of 11.2 per cent from
the June for.e,-. does not necs:aI iii\ jliat, an error of 11.2
per cent in the ffor'(eiz.l, but rather indicales an average subse-
quent change in condition of 11.2 per cent before harvest.







GOVErlNMENT CROP HEFPORT.z. 25


The forecr-asts nade (during the pi-i three v-mis, and final ,-ii-
Inates of yield, are given below:


Forecast made in-
I__ I j u
J I lm l J i. i ]l \ i L k~ I -~ t ] I' ; -
" .IItllU .rr bul'.


l I!Y :1
esti-
ma t e.


Corn lun'sl.ls):
l ll ....................... ...... 25.5
.................... 26.0
1'.'.... ...... 27.8
Winter wheat (bushels):
I'll ....................... 15.3 14.6
1 12 -......- ...........-- ... 11. 1 13.9
1I,3 ......- .........-- .-- .. 15.9 15.6
SIrin-,. wheat (bushels): I
1911 ....................... 13.7 11.8
I',12 .............- ......... 13.8 14. 1
111...................... 13.5 11.7
All % !i it (bushels):
1911 ................. ..... 14.7 1:,. 5
9 .. ... -.................- 14.0 14.0
1913................ ....... 15.0 14.1
Oats (bushels):
1 ;:1 ....................... 27.7 2', 2
1912 -...................... 29.3 3! 1
1413 ...................... 28. 26..9
Barley ( 11: 1 iel-):
1911 ......................------ 21.9 20.9
1112 ...................... 2., 2 25.6
l'l:3 ...................... 2 1. 4 22. S
Rye I'lel):
tl .............. ........ 16. 1! 15.5
1'12 ...................... 16.0 16.0
1 ^ .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. ... 16-. 0 6
......................6.1
Flaxsev'l (i u -licl-):
I'MH .................... ......... .?. 6
l'1l2 .. ..... .. .. ........ .. .. 9
19 ....................... ...... 7
i'.:1 ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 8. 7
Rice (bushels):
.Ill.............................. 32.2
1912 .............................. 31.7
l'l3 .................... .. ......... 0
i'oCht..( (bushels): : 7

1'l1l ."....................... ......... .
........................ .
i'll i. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... '.i 1 i
Tobacco (pfiiiii'l )"

1912 ... .. ...... .... .. ... .9
1!l 1........................ ...... ,. I
1912............................

Hay (tons):
I ll ....................... ........ 1."
r'.l')f 1 ',i
I '! ....................... ........ 1. I
Buck \li ii (bushels) :
1911 ...................................
191:1 ........................... ...........
1913 .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..;. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..


22 6
", 0
. 0






15.1
12.5
19 .<


,, 2.; ,
. . .

.. .. ..I .. .. .


9.8
15.6
13.0

19 At


15 1 15. 1. ......
15.0 15.2........

23.2 23.9 .......
31.9 34.1 ........
2,, S 27.8 -... ...

19. S 20.3 ........
7 27.6 ....... I
S1 22 ........


--. -. -.. ..... i ......- ..


7 6 7.7
9. ; <). 7
8. 3 S., 4

"'7 .211
S. 9 32.7
33. 1 -' S


71.5
S'.:4




7". 0
T



1. 1.
0

1.|',
1. I*'
1.3

18.1
20. 1


71.2

71" 1

711. 6
17. 1
- i 1


9. S
S.7

;2 0

.* 9

7
M, 7

' 16. (l
', I
-it;. i0
1 0


'. .6 6
2. 3 21.
1 2 16(;. 5


23.9

23.1

14.8
15.1
16.5

9. S
17.2
13.0

12.5
15.9
15.2

.7. 4
2 .2



29. 7





31.0
23. 4

15.6
16. 8
16.2

7.0
9. "1
7.8

,-2 9
: i 7
31.1

"' 9
113.4
. ,.l. 4

*iI.I 7
....5
7.1. 3

1.14
1.17
1.31

21.1
22 9
17.2






YO (UREATU OF CROP ESTIMATES.

The preliminary estimates of the cotton crop in December each
year are checked against the monthly and annual reports of pro-
duction by the Bureaiu of the Census. The c-ins reports, whicb
are pin,,u rIed to be the most ar.eii rate obtainazle,, in HI( ate that the
Bureau ci' '", V Est imat ec has ovre- tima1 cd the cotton crop 6 time,
and unde-e.., Iniated the crop 8 times in the pa-st 14 year<.
The following tabulation giv-s the annual estimate e- of the De-
pa rimeit of A-.-_-iculture of the production of cotton, expre-:ed in
pounds of lint, the [uamutity as finally reported by the Bure.'.m of
the (en.-u-, and the peru'etage of overe.-timat.? or im(-ze;-'tifmate
by the Dep:i rtment of Agriculture:

NVumber of poi'iw. of lint cotto, (net weight) as cs'i'imc.', i.: fe'ccm-
l,,. (;..' illy, by /hi, Dc'parlitnt of Ayriclri'>e, o,.. : subse-
qn/ ,Ii/7 )*, or.'il by the Bureau of the Census,for each of the ....
1900-1901 to 1913-14, 'fu.-i;t ., together i iih the percentage over-
estimated or o:,n .'tsl;i)!fld by the D, 1 hi.tin t of Agricuillure each
SOSO s.


Pounds of c
omitt

Crop year. Estimated
by Depart-
ment of Ag-
riculture.


1900-1901...................... 4, 7.5,, 7:
1901-2......................... 4,.529,9 4
19. *'-.1 ........................ 5, 111,:'70
1903-4 ......................... 4,889,796
1904-5 ................ ........ 6,157, '11
1905--6 ....................... GI"0,217
'i,- 7 ......................... 6,t001. 7'26
1')'i7,..... .................... 5,581,968
1 1-. .......... .................. 6 6,182,970
I '- 1 ........................ 14, 2t2h,. 344
Illn 11- ..................... 5 5,464,597
1911-12 ........................ 7,121,713
1912-13........................ 6,612,A.V,
1913-14 ....................... 6,542,.3)|
Total '.,i-1914 .......... 78,740,142
Years of overestimate .......... 2 :1.1. 1. 1I 1
Years of underestimate......... 46,861,0A!


;otton (000
ed).

Fin:.,llv
reported
by Census
Bureau.


4,";',,. 171
4,55, 'I I '-I 1,
5,091,641
4,716.591
6, lii; ..*
5,060,2()00
6, :5.,. 110
57 312 1-i511

4,783, -..2'

5,7.'.1,790235
7,.',)^ ..13 I
6,772,350


Over-
tl estimat ,,I.


Under-
ps: iIn 'a I .i.


P r cc'it. 1 :r cc t.
0. ..........
..7.. ..........
: 1 .. .. .
1. .. ........ ...

-........... .1.
4.0

5. 4
I. .. .. .. .
...... ...... 6
.9 ...........
............ 3.4


1.4


79.,865,971 ............
I;I ; .I 17
sq .- -.> .. .. .


A., shown in the tabulation above, (luring the p.ii 14 \ ,ari: Ihc
I)epartment of Agriciilture has overe's'iinated lhe (cr',,p :ix time,
;i,>1 IT I! .':tiflk'ld it ('I ht 4iin "-'. In year-. of ov I IIunts ihe
vr, r, j PIr.,,, ( 'I,, w\;s 3.5 per cent; for 1ibo entire 14 y;.;ir!- lhl. averne
ern'r v,- 2.8 per cent,. IB:1 ,,ti.iiji the over<.,liitil,-,s ;i:d umccr-
e-.fimnat shows, for the (iiin, period, a net m.idc.reslimale of
only 1.4 per cent.


l





GOVERNMENT CROP IPF.PORTS. 27
CONCLUSION.
It i. gratifvin0 to note how generally the rip estinm.1t- of 1he
bureau are a:,V!pted by lite public ,;i) approxrii,,,ely corrIt
This is due larmly i, the p1a)i riotic ., r"\ i, I of 1,- lair foree of vol-
unitary crop reiirtrs in ',.'ry county j. 1r, I j-i ipl of the Unriil
States, who serve without comp,1i. :i in other than the con-'i-
nels of a public duly wN-11 l]friI'rrfiml and such small rr, -':ititon as
can I-e extended to them I,, tiln, bul'.i'i ill. the form of :,rf'ls and
public, :itir,,is; to the zeal aiid (45- i.,ncy of 11, tfr:iTiie' li '1d h i:';'ts
of tilhe burc.-ui; and to the failluful, efli, i.t, and ,.v:l -,rvi. of the
clerical force and idminii1 r.iA ive oficial ot( the \\.i-lhiLton oif,.,'.
Itis hl ,ped lhat with the liberal app ,i -i ri if i, 41.. granted byC (":'.,--
aiid Wvit h Ihe force, equipinmlit, and system of colleetinginfo'I'.'I I, ,I
fully orLvaniizel for efli,'ient .-,rx ice, the cro)p-e. -int iri ig w,' ,rk of the
Department of A.\riculture will 1-I-orme incr,.:i-iii._v valuable to
the farmnier and distributors, as vll a-- to the ,nsim,.-..,, of the
United State,.












































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