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A research study was conducted during the 1990 Farm Costs and Returns Survey (FCRS) to identify and classify the reasons given to field enumerators by respondents for refusing to participate in the survey. The reasons given by field enumerators for coding a sampled unit as "inaccessible" during the survey were also identified and classified. The research was conducted in six states, including two states that average high nonresponse rates, two states that average mid-level nonresponse rates, and two states that average low nonresponse rates on the FCRS. Results of the refusal classification indicate that one reason given by respondents for refusing to participate in the survey was the first or second most frequent response in all six states. However, only four reasons for refusing made the top ten list in all six states, and the relative frequency of the respondents' reasons for refusing varied considerably among the six states. In classifying the reasons given by enumerators for coding a sampled unit inaccessible, no one reason was given most frequently across the six states. There were only three reasons common to all six states, with fewer reasons provided and less variation within state when compared to the refusal identification. It is recommended that this study be expanded to include all FCRS states, and that the information gathered be used to prepare enumerators for situations common to their state.


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