Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Systems Technology and Education

Committee Chair(s)

George T. Blanch


George T. Blanch


Harold R. Hochmuth


W. P. Thomas


As agricultural leaders become increasingly aware of the economics involved in the production and marketing of agricultural products, there develops an increased need for more accurate and more complete methods of measuring agricultural production. This need is not only for the satisfactory measurement of the physical production of a given crop, but is also for a unit of measurement that will make possible a comparison of the production of individual enterprises and groups of enterprises for a given year and from year to year. Because the production of many crops, and livestock and livestock products are customarily measured according to different standards, some in tons, some in bushels, and some in pounds, and also because a given unit of all agricultural products is not of equal significance--a pound of hay and a pound of butterfat for example--the usual measures do not provide a satisfactory basis for comparing the production of different products or groups of products. Some other means of measurement must be used whereby all physical production can be reduced to a common unit of measurement or a common denominator. Modern economists and statisticians are now using the index number as that common denominator.