Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: National Agricultural Statistics Service

Public Engagement as Necessary as Math, Science

King Whetstone, (right), regional director of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service Northeastern Regional Field Office, meeting with attendees

King Whetstone, (right), regional director of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service Northeastern Regional Field Office, meets with attendees, Jan. 15, at the 2016 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the United States.

It goes without saying a successful statistician must have strong math, analytical and technical skills. You might be surprised to learn, then, just how much of my time is dedicated to listening to and talking with people. To be sure, I still use math and science daily. Two decades into my career, however, it’s those intentional, important interactions with farmers who answer my agency’s requests for information, as well with those who use my agency’s data, researchers, analysts and farmers themselves that keep me busiest.

Why? Because NASS is the “go to” source for official government statistics on U.S. agricultural production, economics, land, water, energy, environmental management and farmer demographics. Part of my job includes making sure farmers want to respond to our surveys and censuses and that researchers choose to use our data because it is the most accurate and unbiased. Read more »

South Carolina Agriculture – Nothing Could Be Finer

No matter which came first, poultry and eggs aren’t chicken feed for South Carolina.  With more than a billion in sales, that a lot of scratch.  Check in next Thursday for more results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

No matter which came first, poultry and eggs aren’t chicken feed for South Carolina. With more than a billion in sales, that a lot of scratch. Check in next Thursday for more results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture.

Agriculture in South Carolina is a long and proud tradition. As the 2012 Census of Agriculture showed us, even today, nearly 5 million acres of our state’s land is dedicated to farming, that’s almost a quarter of all land in South Carolina.

The latest agriculture census also showed that the number of farms in South Carolina has remained steady for the past 15 years at roughly 25,000. The Palmetto State farmers sold more than $3 billion worth of agricultural products. That’s a whopping 29.2 percent increase in sales in just five years. Of these sales, $1.5 billion – nearly half of the total agricultural product sales in South Carolina – came from poultry and egg sales. Read more »

USDA Representatives Go into the Fields to Get Accurate Yield Forecasts

Charlie Ingram, Director of NASS Enumerator Program at National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, preparing a plot in Colorado for wheat objective yield measurements.

Charlie Ingram, Director of NASS Enumerator Program at National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, preparing a plot in Colorado for wheat objective yield measurements.

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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

When I was growing up on the farm in South Carolina, my family used a very simple method of estimating our production. As long as we planted the same acreage, we assumed that we were getting the same amount of crops at harvest time. But while this approach is still used on some farms, it is impossible to use these assumptions to get reliable state and national production estimates. So how does the USDA go about measuring the yields to get an accurate forecast for the annual crop production? Read more »