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United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service

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What is an area frame sample?

The area frame, which is essentially the entire land mass of the United States, ensures the inclusion of the entire U.S. farm population. The land in each State is classified into land use categories by intensity of cultivation using a variety of map products, satellite imagery, and computer software packages. These land use classifications range from intensively cultivated areas, to marginally cultivated or grazing areas, to urban areas. The land in each use category is then divided into segments ranging from about one square mile in cultivated areas to 0.1 square mile in urban areas. About 10,000 sample segments are selected, at varying rates, by land use classification. Approximately 50,000 operators who farm in these segments will be interviewed during the June Agricultural Survey.


Last modified: 06/02/09