new program would track critical indicators over time with special-focus modules to address specific, emerging policy issues; monitor farm and rural household adjustments to changes in policy, prices, and technologies by building on ARMS; and enhance research capacity to analyze, interpret, and apply new agricultural and rural development information.

At the time this report was prepared, the funding for development and implementation for ARDIS was not available to the agencies. This initiative bears watching as it would provide a unique data source for enriching analysis of the interplay between programs and performance results.

Recommendation 2.2: In preparation for funds becoming available for a longitudinal design of ARMS, ERS and NASS should systematically conduct research and explore the need for and feasibility of obtaining panel data from ARMS. Furthermore, as a test of the power of such information, more use should be made of the existing longitudinal microdata from the Census of Agriculture. One possible approach would be to create a pseudopanel of such data. Another would be to make a retrospective link between the Census of Agriculture and a year of ARMS.

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