The following information is bonus material from Top Producer. It corresponds with the article "Rock and Roll” by Linda H. Smith. You can find the article on page 38 in the October 2010 issue.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is responsible for estimating production of most crops grown in the United States. Additionally, early season forecasts are prepared for the major crops. NASS conducts several surveys to obtain the basic data needed to fulfill this obligation. These surveys are a mix of grower interviews and objective field visits employing sophisticated survey sample designs and statistical methodology.