Crop reports are documents published at various times of the year by the agricultural departments of governments all over the world. They consist of statistical data from which farmers can get information about the amounts of various crops grown in a specific period of time. The market also looks at these crop reports to make predictions about prices of various goods. For example, grain prices are up in 2008, which will affect the price of other products, such as flour.
Crop reports are designed to provide information about seeding, the amount of land seeded and harvested, production and farm yields. The governments use the data to help them prepare other policies affecting agricultural production and to help them determine what needs to be done in times of crisis in the agricultural industry.
The data sources are all the farms that exist in the area covered by the report. There is usually a questionnaire that farmers complete with questions prepared by government consultants trained in agriculture. Responding to the survey is mandatory, so farmers cannot elect not to participate. The data collected is compared to that of previous years for analysis purposes.
The information collected from the surveys is weighted so that it does give a level indicator of crop production for the whole area. Estimates for future periods and years are based on these level indicators. Governments need the information collected to know what crops are being grown and harvested in the country. When they compare the data from each year they can determine what factors played a part in increases or decreases from one year to the next.