Wear are devoting this issue of Agricultural Economics Research to papers delivered at one of the sessions of the recent Chicago meeting of the American Statistical Association, which was jointly sponsored by the American Farm Economic Association. This session, organized partly as a result of suggestions coming from the Bureau, was devoted to a discussion of the recommendations contained in the report on crop estimating and reporting methods made by a Special Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture, which was released last June.In publishing this material, we are expressing neither agreement nor disagreement with the conclusions reached or points raised by any of those who appeared on the program. As a matter of fact, there are several places where I am sure that our statisticians would disagree--for example, the question of how to devise and put better sampling methods into use is certainly important, but we would not, I think, be willing to agree that this is the only or one all-important problem facing the Crop Reporting Board. At the same time we would also argue that some materials which are sometimes considered as forecasts by those outside the Bureau--as for example the March Intentions to Plant materials--are not forecasts in the sense in which that word is ordinarily used. But these matters are beside the point. Here is a series of papers prepared by an able group of speakers, all of whom are outside the Bureau. They do not represent the kind of viewpoints which some well-informed persons outside the Bureau hold, and they are a serious effort to analyze the recommendations of the recent House Subcommittee report on Agricultural Estimates and should, it seems to me, be of interest to practically all professional personnel in the Bureau.


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