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AMS Releases Grain Transportation Data in Raw Format

A grain silo in eastern Washington.  AMS has been tracking and gathering datasets for grain transportation for over a decade.  Photo by Sparktography.

Grain in eastern Washington. AMS has been tracking and gathering datasets for grain transportation for over a decade. Photo by Sparktography.

The United States proudly touts a long history of grain production and is the top exporter of grain in the world. Half of our wheat, almost 40 percent of soybeans and almost a fifth of our corn are exported.  That’s why for over a decade the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has been tracking and gathering datasets for grain transportation, including prices, deliveries, movements, sales and freight rates, and now, for the first time, we’ve released our historic data in an excel  format.

Because grains are not only the cornerstone of the world’s food supply but also of global agricultural commodity exchanges, there is inherent value in being able to look at a decade’s worth of grain transportation data. With this information, researchers should be able to identify trends more easily, as well as make projections based on observable or emerging patterns.

As part of USDA’s commitment to transparency and open government, the new dataset is available through Data.gov. Through the website, users can formulate, structure, and analyze raw figures to suit their unique needs. The agricultural industry can explore opportunities in the market armed with more information than ever before.

The Transportation and Marketing Program within AMS will continue to add to the raw data set every week, building on the information to keep it up to date and accurate. It’s all a part of the weekly Grain Transportation Report the agency issues every Thursday. The Grain Transportation Report details grain transportation information, including costs of shipping grain commodities, top destinations for U.S. grain exports, topical events affecting transport, and current trends in the business.

We invite all stakeholders within the grain industry to take a look. Growers, shippers, distributors, and exporters will find the most immediate value in the information. However, we also anticipate that economists, statisticians, researchers, and others will find value in the raw data. After taking a look and you find this data is helpful to you—if you use it to create something surprising or practical—please let us know at webmaster@ams.usda.gov.

 

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