Editor’s Note: The free webinar on the Market Analysis and Reporting Services (MARS) has been moved to Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Sign up using this link: http://bit.ly/1MxNAWj
For over 100 years, USDA Market News has been an indispensable service, used by agricultural producers of all sizes to get timely, unbiased data from Market News reporters across the country. Farmers, ranchers, and the entire agricultural supply chain turn to USDA Market News – administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – for data that serves as the information lifeline for America’s agricultural economy. Now, Market News is entering a new phase, deploying the Market Analysis & Reporting Services (MARS). It’s a big step forward for AMS, Market News and for the markets and producers that use our data every day.
MARS was formally unveiled during the recent USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum. It includes the ability to capture livestock auctions for commodities like feeder cattle and will eventually include more than 600 commodities in real time (where applicable), and moves reporter’s data capture from the paper age to a connected digital age. That means a reporter at a livestock auction in, for example, Kansas will know in real time what comparable feeder cattle is selling for at an auction in Texas.
Market News communicates up-to-date, unbiased market data to facilitate efficient marketing in ag markets here in the United States and around the world. This new system reflects advances in data management, improves market transparency, reduces information disadvantage that may exist between buyers and sellers, and continues USDA’s 100 year commitment to use experienced reporters to gather, analyze, and provide unbiased data through cooperative relationships and observation of different points within the agricultural supply chain.
To remain competitive in today’s market, industry stakeholders need and demand better market coverage, smarter information and faster access. MARS makes Market News more flexible in a rapidly evolving digital market. It also makes qualitative data available in a searchable data base. Plus, it opens the door to providing content that is defined by the public and supplements data with statistics.
Fifty years ago, using pencils, paper and slide rules, America put a man on the moon. Now, using 21st century tools and big data sets, we are moving Market News into the MARS era. For the markets, it is every bit as cutting edge. USDA Market News makes our nation’s commodity markets one of the most transparent in the world and provides critical market intelligence.
MARS will improve our services to ensure that farmers and ranchers know they’re getting a fair price, wholesalers make better decisions about what and how much to buy, and commodity traders buy and sell based on current market information.
How can you learn more about MARS or get involved with this effort? AMS will be hosting a series of interactive webinars to provide more information on MARS and gather feedback on the public facing side of MARS.