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

Authors: Melius, C
Abstract: The epidemiological and economic modeling of poultry diseases requires knowing the size, location, and operational type of each poultry type operation within the US. At the present time, the only national database of poultry operations 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 census data at the county level on poultry operations for various operation types (i.e., layers, broilers, turkeys, ducks, geese). However, the number of farms and sizes of farms for the various types are not independent since some facilities have more than one type of operation. Furthermore, some data on the number of birds represents the number sold, which does not represent the number of birds present at any given time. In addition, any data tabulated by NASS that could identify numbers of birds 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 birds. At the same time, it must account for all the birds, 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 poultry operations. This technical report documents data processing steps that were used to convert the NASS data into a national poultry facility database with twenty-six facility types (7 egg-laying, 6 broiler, 1 backyard, 3 turkey, and 9 others, representing ducks, geese, ostriches, emus, pigeons, pheasants, quail, game fowl breeders and 'other'). 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 first step is similar to the first step used to estimate suppressed data for livestock [Melius et al (2006)]. The second step converts the NASS poultry types into the operational facility types used by the epidemiological and economic model. We also define two additional facility types for high and low risk poultry backyards, and an additional two facility types for live bird markets and swap meets. The distribution of these additional facility types among counties is based on US population census data. The algorithm defining the number of premises and the corresponding distribution among counties and the resulting premises density plots for the continental US are provided.
Publication Date: 05 Dec 2007
Report numbers: LLNL-TR-401333
DOE Contract number: W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type: Technical Report
Research Organizations: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Organizations: USDOE
Country of Publication: United States
Language: English
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