Team Leads Review of USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey

Two faculty members are helping lead a nationwide team of researchers in a review of the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which annually measures the financial health of farms and ranches.

Allen Featherstone, professor of agricultural economics, and Christine Wilson, assistant dean of the College of Agriculture, have teamed up with Chuck Moss, professor of food and resource economics at the University of Florida, to lead the year-long review. Their task is to review the survey and make recommendations for improvements.

“Basically when the USDA constructs income statements and balance sheets, we want to make sure that they’re measuring what they should be measuring,” he said.

So far, the team has found that changes to depreciation methods might need to be considered, as the survey has historically used tax depreciation which tends to overstate expenses, Featherstone said.

The team began reviewing the survey in September 2010 and expects to complete their review by this fall, Featherstone said.

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