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Abstract

The National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts hundreds of surveys on United States and Puerto Rico agriculture for the purpose of making estimates on crops, livestock, production practices, economics, etc. One of these surveys conducted annually is the Agricultural Resource Management Survey. The survey has multiple purposes ranging from collecting information on chemical use and production practices on specific targeted crops to obtaining information on the financial well-being of agricultural operations. One aspect of the survey requires obtaining the latitude and longitude coordinates of sampled agricultural fields containing the target commodity. The current method involves the enumerator marking the location of these fields onto county highway maps, followed by the use of mapping software by office staff. This process is time consuming and lends itself to human error. Hence, the Research and Development Division and the Washington Field Office joined efforts to investigate whether equipping field enumerators with low-cost handheld GPS receivers would save staff time and improve the accuracy of recording where the sampled fields are located.

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