The National Ag Statistics Service will follow the same format it always uses to determine the crop yield forecast. That means Indiana Ag Statistics will follow the same procedure as well. That's the word from Kip Hurlbut of the Indiana office of NASS.
The difference is that when field enumerators, part-time employees trained for the job, visit farm fields picked at random from Washington, many will find ears when some years the first estimate is based on little more than population and general condition.
Some 200 farm sites are picked at random in Indiana. Each farm where a field enumerator will visit must be notified, and the farmer must agree to let them visit his fields for the duration, until harvest. Participation is not mandatory, but if the person doesn't want to cooperate, that site is not replaced. The data simply has one less data point for calculation purposes.