December 9, 2012

Agricultural Staticulation

Staticulation is a manipulation of statistics (ht Darrel Huff). Here is an example. Since 2009 production of corn has doubled in Ukraine. The output of corn increased from 10.5 to 21 mln. tons between 2009 and 2012. Great news! It looks like "free market" economy allocated resource efficiently in Ukraine. 
Wait a sec. The corn yield, however, declined slightly from 5 to 4.8 tons per hectare. If the corn yield declines, the total output of corn must decline too, right? Yes, unless the harvested area increases enough to offset the decrease in the crop yield. Indeed, the harvested area has also doubled since 2009. The harvested area increased from 2.1 to 4.4 mln. hectares. Something tells me that farmers foregoing the conventional crop rotation in Ukraine. To double the cropland area for corn, you need to decrease the harvested area of other crops. Otherwise, where did the additional 2.3 mln of arable land come from? 

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