Hello, My colleague and I are working on making modifications to the 2014 agricultural sector data (farming and livestock) for Arizona (state-level data) to ensure that the IMPLAN data reflects what is reported by ERS. In comparing the two sources, we noticed a few differences and were hoping you might be able to clarify a few questions for us. Output Discrepancies between ERS and IMPLAN In some cases, the ERS cash receipts by commodity are not matching up to IMPLAN agricultural sectors. We understand that IMPLAN’s output value for each agricultural industry includes the production of the primary commodity as well as some other commodities (for example, support activities for ag and other amusement and recreation). So cash receipt figures may not be the same… but there are several instances in the 2014 data for Arizona where IMPLAN output figures are significantly lower than reported ERS cash receipts. A good example of this is fruit farming. ERS cash receipt data suggests that this sector has output of at least $148 million, whereas IMPLAN output figures are $88 million. Why would this be occurring? Contract Labor and Employee Compensation We were also wondering where expenses for contract labor are included in IMPLAN. Are they considered part of employee compensation (and, therefore, value added) in each individual agricultural sector? Or are they considered a production expense and mapped to IMPLAN sector 19- support activities for ag production? OPTI calculations Lastly, how is OPTI calculated for agricultural sectors? The reason we ask is that OPTI’s share of output at the state-level for all agricultural sectors (IMPLAN sectors 1-14) has increased significantly compared to 2011 data. In 2011, OPTI was 17% of output and in 2014 it is 40% of output. We think that much of this is likely due to price changes in the beef cattle industry, but we aren’t quite sure. Furthermore, if this is case, we’re not sure that the profits should be categorized as OPTI. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, even though corporations account for a large percent of sales in the beef cattle industry, more than 90% of them are family-owned and are likely to be local. Thanks so much for your help.
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