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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 99 No. 3, p. 673-681
    Received: May 8, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): erandi@atmos.colostate.edu


Deriving Comprehensive County-Level Crop Yield and Area Data for U.S. Cropland

  1. Erandathie Lokupitiya *ab,
  2. F. Jay Breidtc,
  3. Ravindra Lokupitiyad,
  4. Steve Williamsa and
  5. Keith Paustianab
  1. a Natural Resource Ecology Lab., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    b Dep. of Soil and Crop Sci., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    c Dep. of Statistics, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523
    d Dep. of Atmospheric Sci., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523


Ground-based data on crop production in the USA is provided through surveys conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the Census of Agriculture (AgCensus). Statistics from these surveys are widely used in economic analyses, policy design, and for other purposes. However, missing data in the surveys presents limitations for research that requires comprehensive data for spatial analyses. We created comprehensive county-level databases for nine major crops of the USA for a 16-yr period, by filling the gaps in existing data reported by NASS and AgCensus. We used a combination of regression analyses with data reported by NASS and the AgCensus and linear mixed-effect models incorporating county-level environmental, management, and economic variables pertaining to different agroecozones. Predicted yield and crop area were very close to the data reported by NASS, within 10% relative error. The linear mixed-effect model approach gave the best results in filling 84% of the total gaps in yields and 83% of the gaps in crop areas of all the crops. Regression analyses with AgCensus data filled 16% of the gaps in yields and crop areas of the major crops reported by NASS.

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