Developing Livestock Facility Type Information from USDA Agricultural Census Data for Use in Epidemiological and Economic Models

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The epidemiological and economic modeling of livestock diseases requires knowing the size, location, and operational type of each livestock facility within the US. At the present time, the only national database of livestock facilities that is available to the general public is the USDA's 2002 Agricultural Census data, published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, herein referred to as the 'NASS data.' The NASS data provides facility data at the county level for various livestock types (i.e., beef cows, milk cows, cattle on feed, other cattle, total hogs and pigs, sheep and lambs, milk goats, and angora goats). However, the ... continued below

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Melius, C; Robertson, A & Hullinger, P October 24, 2006.

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The epidemiological and economic modeling of livestock diseases requires knowing the size, location, and operational type of each livestock facility within the US. At the present time, the only national database of livestock facilities that is available to the general public is the USDA's 2002 Agricultural Census data, published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, herein referred to as the 'NASS data.' The NASS data provides facility data at the county level for various livestock types (i.e., beef cows, milk cows, cattle on feed, other cattle, total hogs and pigs, sheep and lambs, milk goats, and angora goats). However, the number and sizes of facilities for the various livestock types are not independent since some facilities have more than one type of livestock, and some livestock are of more than one type (e.g., 'other cattle' that are being fed for slaughter are also 'cattle on feed'). In addition, any data tabulated by NASS that could identify numbers of animals or other data reported by an individual respondent is suppressed by NASS and coded with a 'D.'. To be useful for epidemiological and economic modeling, the NASS data must be converted into a unique set of facility types (farms having similar operational characteristics). The unique set must not double count facilities or animals. At the same time, it must account for all the animals, including those for which the data has been suppressed. Therefore, several data processing steps are required to work back from the published NASS data to obtain a consistent database for individual livestock operations. This technical report documents data processing steps that were used to convert the NASS data into a national livestock facility database with twenty-eight facility types. The process involves two major steps. The first step defines the rules used to estimate the data that is suppressed within the NASS database. The second step converts the NASS livestock types into the operational facility types used by the epidemiological and economic model. Comparison of the resulting database with an independent survey of farms in central California shows excellent agreement between the numbers of farms for the various facility types. This suggests that the NASS data are well suited for providing a consistent set of county-level information on facility numbers and sizes that can be used in epidemiological and economic models.

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PDF-file: 26 pages; size: 1.3 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-226008
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036849 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036849
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833031

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  • October 24, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 3:22 p.m.

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Melius, C; Robertson, A & Hullinger, P. Developing Livestock Facility Type Information from USDA Agricultural Census Data for Use in Epidemiological and Economic Models, report, October 24, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833031/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.