To overcome obsolescence of data, a series of papers dealing with the conceptual and operational foundations of major data systems was commissioned by the Economic Statistics Committee of the American Agricultural Economics Association in conjunction with the Statistical Reporting Service, Economic Research Service and Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, These papers were presented and discussed extensively at an Agricultural and Rural Data Workshop held in Washington, D. C. May 4-6, 1977. Papers were subsequently revised and are being published in the two Series in which they were organized. Papers prepared by teams in Series A (W. E. Kibler, leader) on Price Reporting and the Caficity of the Food and Fiber Systems are contained in this publication.- Papers prepared by teams in Series B (Gaylord Worden, leader) on Indicators of Economic Well-being of People Engaged in Farming, and Data for Farm and Rural Employment are contained in a separate publication •. ~./ The papers deserve much study--they were carefully prepared by professionals highly qualified to deal with the conceptual and operational issues in data systems where serious data gaps and obsolescence are prominent. The papers will be little more than an academic exercise unless recommendations are used by administrators and policymakers to improve the respective data systems which they address Many of the recommendations can be implemented with little or no additional resources. In cases where additional funds are required, it is the teams' judgments that the additional resources required will provide benefits to users in excess of costs.

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