Using Personal Digital Assistants for the 2004 Cotton Objective Yield Survey

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts hundreds of surveys (annually, monthly and in some cases weekly) on United States and Puerto Rico agriculture for the purpose of making estimates on crops, livestock, production practices, economics, etc. One of the monthly surveys is the Cotton Objective Yield Survey. Field enumerators typically record the data for this survey on paper forms and mail them to the field office for processing. The collected survey data allow NASS to forecast cotton yields and determine the amount of acreage to be harvested. In the fall of 2003, NASS’ North Carolina Field Office and the Research & Development Division combined efforts to explore the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) in place of the paper forms. The goals of the study were to develop a user-friendly data collection instrument to operate on a PDA which field enumerators could successfully record COY data into and securely transmit the data to the NC FO. The project also investigated if using PDAs would improve the data collection process, provide the collected data to the office staff quicker, improve data quality, and be cost effective.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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