The Fruit and Nut surveys provide farmer and/or agri-business estimates and forecasts of crop acreage, yield, production, price, value of production, and disposition of the crop as a component of the process to estimate fruit and nut crop production levels, price, value, and disposition of the crop.
The Fruit and Nut surveys are conducted in the major production states for each respective commodity. States survey all known commercial producers of fruit and nut commodities when only a small number of growers exist. For some commodities where a large number of producers exist in a given state, the state will conduct a probability survey or contact a sample of the growers to get production data.
The Fruit and Nut surveys produce results used to publish forecasts in the Crop Production report, the Cranberries report, or the Cherry Production report. End of growing or marketing season surveys produce results used to publish the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts reports in January and July, or the Annual Citrus report in September.
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Farm operators provide data for fruit and nut crops including apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, cherries, cranberries, dates, figs, grapes, guavas, kiwifruit, nectarines, olives, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, strawberries, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, tangelos, tangerines, temples, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts being produced on the operation.
Bearing acres, yield per acre, total production, utilized production, price, and value of production are the types of information collected for each crop from the producers and/or processors. A measure of change can be obtained by comparing previous season reports to current season or comparing within season reports.
The Fruit and Nut surveys are a vital component of the estimation process for fruit and nut production estimates. The uses of the resulting publications are to provide critical information on acreage, yield, production, price, utilized production, total production, and value of production to the fruit and nut industry, growers, transportation companies, farm program analysis, and economic calculation.
Farm operators are the greatest benefactor of this data series. The estimates of production are the official, independent, and unbiased industry baseline. This kind of information is crucial in the price discovery process.
Crop production estimates are also valuable for producers and industry to plan the marketing and movement of the commodity throughout the year.
The Fruit and Nut surveys vary in frequency by commodity. One or more forecast surveys are conducted during the growing season followed by an end of growing season survey and an end of marketing season survey for most fruit commodities. Some commodities only have an end of growing season and/or an end of marketing season survey. The timing of each survey is dependent on the growing and marketing season of that particular commodity.
The forecast reference date for each fruit and nut commodity is the first of the month that the forecast report is published. Mail data collection for forecasts is to begin no earlier than the 25th of the previous month. Phone data collection begins no earlier than the 28th of the previous month. Data collection concludes between the 5th and 8th of each month depending on the release date of the publication. End of season surveys are conducted shortly after the end of the growing or marketing season.
The primary methods of data collection are telephone interview and mail out/mail back data collection. Mail is emphasized as it is highly cost effective and less burdensome. However, in narrow data collection periods, the telephone is more effective. Personal interview data collection is used on a limited basis when coordination is needed across survey projects or when requested by the respondents.
Phone enumerators may use CATI software which allows the enumerator to verbally maintain a conversation with the respondent while following the instrument question text. Reported data are entered directly into an electronic format and the software performs simple consistency checks. In many cases the enumerator relays the question to the respondent from a paper questionnaire and records the response on the paper form. These forms are reviewed for consistency, then summarized.
Fruit Chemical Use
Last modified: 12/01/09
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