Concern has been voiced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) Farm Costs and Returns Surveys are used for a wide variety of policy analyses but produce questionable estimates. USDA-developed crop and livestock cost and return estimates for New Mexico and other selected states are compared to estimates developed by state universities. Major differences exist, most important of which relate to the ability of the survey respondent to answer the questions posed. Regardless of the cause of the differences, closer cooperation between the USDA and state universities clearly is needed to develop consistent estimates.


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