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Abstract

This report describes the Five Stage Algorithm used by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to redraw the 1994 Farm Costs and Returns Survey (FCRS) list frame sample. This algorithm was devised to reduce the number of farm and ranch operators in the FCRS sample that are also in other major surveys’ samples. It decreased the number of operators in the 1994 FCRS sample that were also in one or more of the four other major surveys from 4,338 to 1,982 (a decrease of 54 percent). It decreased the number of operators in the 1994 FCRS sample that were also in the previous year’s FCRS sample from 369 to 14 (a decrease of 96 percent). It increased the number of operators in the 1994 FCRS sample that were not in any of the four other major surveys from 6,114 to 8,470 (an increase of 39 percent). We recommend caution when using this procedure, for example, using it on Ag surveys across years, or using presampling.

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