This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Has the weather and grain prices been on your mind lately? With the release of the August Crop Production report just days away, I know it’s been on my mind. While we’ve had record-breaking heat here in the nation’s capital, everyone’s eyes are on farm country waiting to see how the unpredictable summer weather is impacting the 2010 growing season.
The answer to this question may become a bit clearer tomorrow (Aug. 12) when we at USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) release the much anticipated August Crop Production report. The Crop Production reports track crop size on a monthly basis. This information is a necessity for an industry that can change day-to-day due to weather and other factors.
The August report will provide the first glimpse of expected yields for this season’s row crops, including corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans and many others. It will also provide updated production data for all hay varieties and final yield estimates for barley, oats and wheat.
To the surprise of some, it’s not just producers and industry analysts who are eagerly awaiting this report, but also NASS’s fellow USDA agencies. Because of NASS’s strict confidentiality polices, which are designed to protect the integrity of the data and prevent unauthorized access to these market sensitive numbers. This will be the first time anyone outside of NASS sees the results – including other USDA agencies.
Of course none of this information would be possible without the cooperation of the 28,000 producers NASS surveyed nationwide in recent weeks. The participation we receive from farmers is the key to being able to provide factual, up-to-date information needed to help ensure abundant supply of food, fiber and fuel for the United States and the world.
August’s Crop Production report will be released August 12 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.