Did you know…
…that small family farms account for most U.S. farms and for a majority of farm assets?
…that nonmetro areas declined in population–perhaps for the first time–in 2011-12?
…or that the inflation-adjusted value of SNAP benefits declined from 2009 to 2011?
These are a few of the facts that the Economic Research Service has presented in our Charts of Note series – daily snapshots of key ERS findings. Each day, a selected graph or map, accompanied by brief text, appears on our website. Subscribers to the series can receive the chart and accompanying text in a daily email.
Charts of Note are capsulized stories we are eager to tell, drawn from published ERS reports and data products. Some are particularly relevant to current topics of the day, while others contain notable facts or findings about the food, farm, and rural sectors.
Our Charts of Note are used by journalists to generate story ideas, by policy makers and researchers who cite them in presentations and reports, and by anyone who wants to be informed of important farm- and food-related information.
Editors at ERS were recently charged with a difficult task – to select the ten best Charts of Note from over 230 posted in 2013, then select five “Editor’s” Picks, before selecting the year’s winning chart. The ten finalists are those that are worthy of a second look because of their relevance to the year’s headlines or their insights from ERS research. Until the end of 2013, the top five Editor’s Pick charts will run in the daily series.
This year’s winning chart (see above) shows that U.S. agricultural exports to China grew despite increases in the support China provides to its domestic farm sector. Trade talks were prominent in the news this year, and China is a major trading partner.
All of the ten best Charts of Note appear in a new chart gallery on the ERS website, which I invite you to view.