Standard Article

Sampling Agricultural Resources

Natural Resources and Agriculture

  1. Sarah M. Nusser,
  2. Stephanie A. Zimmer

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn032

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Nusser, S. M. and Zimmer, S. A. 2013. Sampling Agricultural Resources. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Agricultural surveys gather data about agricultural production, land management practices, and economic outcomes for farms. Because they involve a complex mix of estimation goals and reporting units, probability samples for agricultural surveys are challenging to design. Two types of sampling frames are used: list frames of agricultural producers and area frames that represent units of land. List frames are cheaper to maintain and easier to select samples from, but may be incomplete. Area frames, which involve selecting land areas or points on the land, are expensive to use, but have full coverage of the population. Some surveys use both types of frames to control costs and estimate coverage bias of the list frame. Regardless of the frame, stratification and multistage sampling are commonly used to balance operational constraints and precision goals for agricultural surveys.


  • area sample;
  • list frame;
  • probability sample;
  • multistage sample;
  • coverage bias;
  • land survey;
  • establishment survey