"Don Phillips, NASS interviewer, uses iPad for data collection for the September Agricultural Survey."
To recognize the contribution that research in agriculture makes in our daily lives, we’re focusing this month’s Science Tuesday blogs on the successes that USDA science agencies have achieved for us all.
How do we know where we’re going unless we know where we’re starting from? That question is the starting point for the world of ag statistics. The numbers point that way, and it takes hundreds of surveys every year, filled out by people working in and depending upon U.S. agriculture, to get those numbers. You may not have considered that collecting statistics was a key part of developing the products you use on a daily basis. So, today we’re highlighting some of our greatest research stories about statistics because “Ag Research Counts” every day, for every American. Tomorrow is the beginning of our trivia contest on Facebook from ‘Science Tuesday’ blogs we’re featuring this month. You can also learn more cool facts in our conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AgResearchCounts. Here are this week’s blogs featuring NASS research that impacts each of us every day: Read more »
The current vegetation index across the United States. NASS uses satellite images like these to look at weekly crop progress.
When it comes to growing crops, weather is a constantly changing variable. These past few years, grain farmers have been on a veritable weather roller coaster. The floods of 2011 were followed by perfect spring planting conditions in 2012. Conditions deteriorated rapidly, resulting in one of the worst droughts in at least 25 years. This year, the weather has thrown yet another knuckleball at farmers, idling field work and reducing plantings to the slowest pace since 1984 in many areas. Read more »
Learn about some Cinco de Mayo staples by exploring our infographic (click for larger version).
Cinco de Mayo is more than a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. With its American roots planted during the Civil War, the fifth of May is also a celebration of freedom and victory over odds. Over the years the holiday has become more mainstream, with celebrations that bring together music, art and cuisine shaped by the rich culture and international influences of Mexico and Latin America. Read more »
Rick Mueller, Spatial Analysis Research Section Head, National Agricultural Statistics Service
This post is part of the Science Tuesdayfeature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States.
While most of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) statisticians studied mathematics, economics or agriculture in school, my career path started in a completely different place. I came to NASS in the 1990s as an IT specialist to help the agency evolve its use of geospatial technology and contribute to the remote sensing acreage estimation program. And so, while most of the agency staff learned about agriculture by visiting fields, my knowledge of this intricate subject came from studying and analyzing satellite imagery. Read more »
Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack officially launched the U.S. Government’s new Food, Agriculture and Rural virtual community on Data.gov. This will serve as a single access point for our related datasets, databases, tools, apps and data resources discussed throughout the G-8 Open Data for Agriculture conference. This effort supports our USDA Digital Strategy efforts to ensure high-value services and systems are available anywhere, any time and on any device.
Spring foods infographic (click for larger version) with more facts, figures and food safety tips.
Although in some parts of the country record snow fall and colder temperatures have masked it—spring is officially here. With the change of seasons come traditions and observances that date back to ancient times, many focused on growth, new life and change. Among these traditions are some holiday and seasonal mainstays that evolved because of more practical reasons, like the process involved in making them or their chemical properties. Read more »