Food and Agricultural Industries: Opportunities for Improving Measurement and Reporting

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Abstract

We measure one component of off-farm food and agricultural industries using establishment-level microdata in the federal statistical system. We focus on services for crop production, and compare measures of firm and employment dynamics in this sector during the 1992-2012 time period with county-level publicly available data for the same measures. Based on differences across data sources, we establish new facts regarding the evolution of food and agricultural industries, and demonstrate the value of working with confidential microdata. In addition to the data and results we present, we highlight possibilities for collaboration across universities and federal agencies to improve reporting in other segments of food and agricultural industries.

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