« PreviousContinue »
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1962.
CHARLES F. KIEFER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MANAGEMENT OP-
MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS STAFF
BUDGET AND FINANCE, MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS STAFF
Mr. WHITTEN. Gentlemen, the committee will come to order. We have now Dr. Trelogan, Administrator of the Statistical Reporting Service, and his associates.
At this point I would like inserted in the record pages 30 through 32 and 35 through 41 of the justifications. (The material referred to follows:)
STATISTICAL REPORTING SERVICE
PURPOSE STATEMENT The Statistical Reporting Service was established by Secretary's memorandum No. 1446, supplement 1, of April 3, 1961, under Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 and other authorities. The Service was created to give coordinated leadership to the statistical reporting research and service programs of the Department. It provides a channel for the orderly flow of statistical intelligence about the agricultural economy of this country. The primary responsibilities of this Service are the nationwide crop and livestock estimates, coordination and improvement in the Departments statistical requirements, and special surveys of market potentials for agricultural products. Service programs are organized under the following major areas:
1. Crop and livestock estimates, including estimates of production, supply, price, and other aspects of the agricultural economy; conduct of enumerative and objective measurement surveys; preparation and issuance of the official National and State estimates and reports of the Department relating to acreages, types, and production of farm crops, number of livestock on farms, livestock products, stocks of agricultural commodities, value and utilization of farm products, prices received and paid by farmers, and other subjects as required.
2. Statistical research and service, including review, clearance, coordination, and improvement of statistics in the Department; research on and development of improved statistical techniques used in gathering and evaluating statistical data; data processing activities, with related systems analysis and research, programing and processing of data ; research on consumers' preferences on foods, fibers, and their byproducts and consumers' evaluation of costs and other factors when buying these products.
3. Research under section 104 (a) and (k) of Public Law 480: Analyses and research projects beneficial to the United States which can be advantageously conducted overseas by foreign research institutions and universities are financed with foreign currencies through contracts and grants. Professional personnel carefully review and appraise for technical adequacy these projects prior to carrying on the negotiations leading to contract execution. During the course of the work, the Service periodically appraises progress and methods used in the contract or grant, and reviews reports produced as a part of the project. The Explanatory Notes under appropriations for the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Agricultural Research Service contain discussions of 104 (a) and (k) activities.
4. Work performed for others: The Service also performs services for other Federal, State, and private agencies on a reimbursable or advance payment basis. These include among others the AID foreign visitor training program, farmers' expenditures and wage and hour surveys for the Department of Labor, and various data collection activities for the Bureau of the Census and other organizations.
The Statistical Reporting Service maintains a central office in Washington, D.C., but a large part of the crop and livestock program is carried on through 13 State offices.
On November 30, 1961, there were 942 full-time employees, of whom 642 were in the field. In addition, there were 297 part-time and intermittent employees, primarily in the field.
Estimated available, 1962_.
$8,758, 000 9, 693, 000
Salaries and expenses
Service Administration," for space rental..
8, 748, 000
Base for 1963 Budget estimate, 1963.
8, 758, 000 9, 693, 000
SUMMARY OF INCREASES, 1963
and livestock estimates program.
pand research on statistical techniques and methods-
1 Represents obligations. Applied costs for 1961 are $7,969,037. The difference of $132,368 reflects primarily the excess of equipment and printed materials ordered over that used in 1961.
STATUS OF PROGRAM The Statistical Reporting Service was established as a new agency by the Secretary of Agriculture on April 3, 1961. It is the primary data collecting agency for agriculture, being responsible for statistical reporting and service work, including crop and livestock estimates, statistical coordination and improvement, and marketing data surveys.
Work under this appropriation is accomplished through two financial projects : (1) Crop and livestock estimates, and (2) statistical research and service.
I. CROP AND LIVESTOCK ESTIMATES Current activities and trends
In providing the official estimates on agriculture, basic statistical and economic data relating to food and agriculture are gathered, analyzed, and issued in over 700 reports annually. These data include acreages, yields, production, stocks, value, and utilization of farm crops; numbers, production, value, and utilization of livestock and livestock products; refrigerated warehouse food stocks; and such related data as prices received and paid by farmers, and farm employment and wage rates.
Thousands of farmers, processors, merchants and others serve as volunteer reporters, and their reports are supplemented by field observations, objective yield measurements, and other data to provide the resulting reports issued for public information.
Long-range program for developing the Agricultural Estimating Service.--The principal goals of this program are to (a) provide additional and improved National and State data, (b) expand agricultural price statistics, (c) expedite the release and distribution of reports, and (d) provide additional data and services needed.
Emphasis on achieving these goals has been continued. The data collection program has been expanded to include additional items and, for established items, to provide not only data in greater detail but also more accurate and timely information. Increased use has been made of enumerative type surveys in scientifically selected areas and of objective yield measurements. These techniques, previously determined necessary in supplementing the less accurate, but relatively low-cost mail questionnaire approach, have resulted in providing a more solid foundation of benchmarks for sampling, estimating, and forecasting.
Electronic processing of data provides efficiencies and increases services.-Improved efficiency through processing data by electronic equipment is under con. stant study and this equipment has been used in an increasing extent when feasible for the job. This equipment has been used in assisting the develorment of new crop estimating procedures and in improved programs for several lines of work including farm income calculations and poultry inspection reports. A study is being conducted to examine the possibility of a more general approach to a wider variety and to a wider scope of problems, paying particular attention to the integration of operations by means of data processing equipment
Revised procedures used in objective yield surveys.--Questionnaires were prepared in consultation with various interested groups within the Department and with plant specialists in colleges and experiment stations. Technical instructions and reference manuals were prepared for the guidance of State offices and for interviewers and supervisors. Many of the present projects represent extensions of similar work done during the previous year; substantial improvements were made in the questionnaire, survey procedures, and reference manuals. Questionnaires were designed to facilitate using electronic data processing equipment in summarizing the crop and livestock portions of the (June 1961) interview survey. Listings were pre-edited for automatic data processing punching and the preliminary ADP listings checked against State summaries to reduce repunching check time and provide State sampling error data in time to meet crop and livestock report deadlines. Increased emphasis was placed upon on-the-job supervision to assure uniformity of procedures.
Need for series of market egg prices.-Representatives of the poultry industry continue to urge strongly that a series of prices for market eggs be published, in addition to or in place of the present series which also includes prices of batching eggs and eggs retailed by farmers directly to consumers. Hatching eggs and retail eggs both bring relatively higher prices than regular market eggs. Differences between States in the relative importance of these higher priced egg categories have caused significant differences in levels of State average prices for all eggs. Representatives of the industry, however, believe that they need a measure of relative level and change in prices for market eggs only. A survey of suggested procedure has been made, and consideration is being given to establishing this new price series for market eggs.
Cattle-on-feed report.-Additional funds were appropriated for fiscal year 1962 to expand the cattle-on-feed reporting program. A monthly report has been started for Colorado, similar to the California and Arizona report; a quarterly survey in Alabama and Georgia was started, beginning with October 1, 1961; and New York and Maryland were added to the January 1, 1962, survey. The new quarterly and annual data for the additional States was published for the first time in January 1962. Selected examples of recent progress
1. Corn for grain.-An improvement in reporting basis was inaugurated in the corn estimating program with the July 1961 report. The change involves dropping the forecast estimates of "all corn" production and making available the more meaningful "corn for grain" estimates during the current crop year.
2. Pacific Northwest wheat project. The special wheat project was continued in the three Pacific Northwest States. During the year the special quarterly supply and disposition reports have been released as in the past. The project
continues to have the solid support of all segments of the wheat industry in the three-State area, as well as other important wheat areas, particularly the Central Plains States.
3. Naval stores statistics.-Tight supplies and relatively high prices of rosin dominated the naval stores situation during the past year and continued the interest in the supply picture reflected in the monthly naval stores report. The annual naval stores report, issued at the end of the crop year, brought together a summary of monthly production, stocks at all locations, consumption by industries, and related data. Both the monthly and annual reports were widely used and many requests to be placed on the mailing list were received. Several of the larger producers and consumers of naval stores were contacted this year relative to ways and means of compiling reports on actual end uses of rosin.
4. Inauguration of weekly tomato reports in Florida and Texas.-A weekly report covering acreage planted and acreage remaining for harvest in Florida and early spring tomato acreage in Texas was started in late calendar year 1960. The report was based on an enumeration of growers to obtain the acreage planted by weeks. Information on progress of harvest was also included in the report starting in March. Comments on the progress of planting, development of the crop, and progress of harvest were also included in the report. Data were collected by weeks, summarized on the following Monday, and released at 3 p.m. on Tuesday simultaneously by the offices in Austin, Tex., Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C. Speed in releasing this type of data is of utmost importance.
5. Poultry slaughter report.—The monthly poultry slaughter report was expanded during fiscal year 1961. Monthly data on average weight per bird by class of poultry inspected and a breakdown of pounds certified between iced and frozen were included in the May 3, 1961, and subsequent reports. Data for all classes of poultry inspected were also included by regions and selected States on average weight per bird, pounds, and percent of poultry condemned (post mortem), and number of birds condemned by cause.
6. Sheep and lambs on feed.-Funds were redirected during the past fiscal year for expansion of the sheep-on-feed program in seven States to include November 1 and March 1 reports and to make the January 1 report more comprehensive. The States involved are Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and California. Data for this expanded program were collected and published starting with November 1, 1960.
7. Lamb crop.-In conjunction with the expanded sheep-and-lambs-on-feed program the following changes were made in the lamb program: A report on lambs saved during the previous year was issued in February. The March 1 early lamb situation report was included with the March 1 sheep-on-feed report and numerical estimates of the early lamb crops were shown for Kansas, Texas, and California. This is the first time actual estimates of the numbers of early lambs have been published. The May 1 early lamb situation report was discontinued.
8. Changes in classification of pork items.—Through industrywide meetings and discussions, a statistical reporting arrangement was adopted to provide the meatpacking industry with more detailed and useful information on certain pork cuts in storage. The new classifications provided marketers with monthly data on the quantities of loins, jowls, butts, spareribs, and frozen pork trimmings held under refrigeration each month. In addition, data were gathered delineating between canned hams and other canned meats. Heretofore, these two canned items were combined.
9. Preparation of material for proposed prices paid bulletin.-A series of bulletins showing estimates of prices paid by farmers for consumer goods, production goods, and services has been proposed for publication. The first bulletin of the series relates to U.S. average prices for the years 1910-60 for commodities and services included in the parity index. Considerable progress was made during the past year in preparing tables of U.S. average prices.