NASS interviewers conducting objective yield measurements in a field near Lubbock, Texas.
Lone Star state growers are responsible for 56 percent of the U.S. acres planted to cotton and about 45 percent of the total cotton production. But how do we measure this crop accurately enough to make dependable forecasts for cotton yield and production? That’s where our measurement process, known as the objective yield kicks in.
All of the objective yield measurements are done by a well-prepared team of National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) enumerators. For this growing season, we spent the week of July 12-14 training 43 enumerators with a combination of classroom and hands-on field practice. Since approximately 63 percent of the Texas crop, which represents 30 percent of the U.S. total cotton crop, comes from the High Plains of Texas, this group has the bulk of the samples in Texas. Read more »
Hubert Hamer speaks to a small farms conference about the value of NASS data and the importance of responding to NASS surveys.
Like nearly all organizations that use surveys to collect information, we have seen declining response rates in recent years. The value of accurate data is now more important than ever for decision-making on the farm, and by USDA farm program administrators, policy makers, researchers, market participants and, really, every aspect of agriculture. It is critical that we work closely with potential respondents and their industry representatives.
End-of-year crop production and stocks surveys, including the county agricultural production survey, which are critical for the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency to administer programs that benefit farmers and ranchers are upon us. These agencies need accurate data to serve producers with beneficial programs such as the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Agriculture Risk Coverage (PLC), Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and many crop insurance programs. Read more »
Cassie Munsey, 31, Monticello, Ky., checks in on the bull on her 14-acre beef cattle farm she purchased in 2013. As a new farmer, Munsey appreciates the increased flexibility in USDA programs allowing her to get her operation up and running.
Farmers are unique in that they touch every single American every single day, because we all eat. Ensuring a continuity of agriculture is important to all of us. To take the pulse of U.S. agriculture, we conduct a Census of Agriculture every five years which gives us a comprehensive analysis of agriculture in America and supplements information from more than 400 other surveys we conduct each year.
Our last census was in 2012, and the resulting data showed a decline in the number of new and beginning farmers compared to the previous census in 2007. On top of that decline, we saw the average age of American farmers trending upward to 58 years old. The USDA took these two pieces of information and recognized the need to encourage new and beginning farmers. Read more »
Science and data may hold the key to how the world will feed 9 billion people by 2050, and USDA Research and Science Action Plan will help guide the way.
In 2050, there will be about 9 billion people in the world. How do you feed 9 billion people? Clearly, we need more food, greater production, and more efficient processes, but how do we achieve that and how does that translate to success?
The answer may be found through science and data. USDA works hard to provide good data to decision makers on the farm, in the field, at the lab and in the office place. This data includes economic information that characterizes and evaluates global market performance and keeps food and agricultural systems working smoothly. Information includes data on crop production, farm income, food and agricultural prices, trade, nutrition, and food security. Read more »
As an unbiased agricultural resource, Market News retail reports help encourage market stability and transparency by promoting healthy competition within the marketplace and providing equal access to market information for small and mid-sized producers and retailers.
Sound business decisions are based off of reliable data, and this is certainly the case for food producers and retailers. For small and mid-sized producers, access to timely and reliable data can be critical to their success. Whether they are selling products on the wholesale or retail market, producers need to quickly see the commodities in demand and how much they should be charging for their product or what products are the best buy for shoppers at that moment in time.
The entire agricultural supply chain turns to USDA Market News – administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – for the data they need when they need it. Serving stakeholders of all sizes and at all levels of trading, from small producer to retailer to consumer, USDA Market News allows producers and purchasers to realistically compare prices, trends, supply and demand from day to day and from market to market across the country. USDA Market News ensures that no group is disadvantaged by lack of information. Read more »
Aerial view of GRACEnet test plots at the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center in Pendleton, Oregon. Photo by Oregon State University.
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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Responding to Climate Variability is one of the goal areas of the REE Action Plan. The objective is to develop science-based knowledge to address climate variability, position agricultural communities to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and enhance carbon sequestration.
Many valuable USDA accomplishments for the year 2015 were the result of cross-divisional teams that developed useful tools to support decision-makers with research-based data. Knowing weather and climate patterns–driving forces behind the success or failure of cropping systems–is vital information to land managers. One such tool, AgroClimate, supported by REE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), helps users manage climate risk with tools that provide information on crops best suited to grow in their region, based on water availability and the amount of water a crop will use. Read more »