The Potential Implications of “Big Ag Data” for USDA Forecasts

Jesse Tack, Keith H. Coble, Robert Johansson, Ardian Harri, Barry J. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The USDA produces yield and supply estimates for many crops that influence commodity markets and are used for implementing the Title I program, Agriculture Risk Coverage. Precision agriculture advances have increased the potential for the private sector to capture near-real time yield data, however, it is unclear whether they provide advantages in setting market positions since the samples are typically non-random. Here, we use yield histories from a large population of corn farms to quantify biases associated with different non-random sampling schemes for estimating aggregate yield, and demonstrate the effectiveness of benchmarking procedures for removing systematic prediction error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-683
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association


  • Big data
  • USDA reports
  • market information
  • precision agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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