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Agriculture: US Statistics: About US Agriculture Statistics

Overviews the statistics in the Data Planet repository on agricultural production and operations in the United States.

About US Agriculture Statistics

The Data-Planet repository includes many indicators related to agricultural production and operations, as well as food consumption, in the United States, primarily sourced from the United States Department of Agriculture. Statistics range from the counts of livestock and farms, to crop prices, crops planted and harvested, crop yield, and much, much more.

About the US Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was created by the Agricultural Act of May 15, 1862, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. Key activities include: expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development; further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities; providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities, and infrastructure in rural America; enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of food-borne hazards; improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion; and managing and protecting America’s public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector. Major data statistical programs of USDA include the Economic Research Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the World Agricultural Outlook Board. 

Datasets Relevant to US Agriculture in Data Planet

USDA Agricultural Census: Conducted since 1840, the Census of Agriculture conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the USDA provides comprehensive data on the current situation, historical changes in US agriculture, and long-term trends. The Census also collects information on the agricultural industry that is not gathered elsewhere in the annual survey programs conducted by the NASS, including data on areas such as agritourism, organic production, farmer demographics, specialized agricultural production, Internet access and more. Conducted every five years, the Census provides a detailed picture of US farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Participation in the Census is required by law, and is the responsibility of every farmer and rancher, regardless of the size or type of operation. 

USDA Agricultural Surveys: In addition to to the Census of Agriculture conducted every five years, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA conducts hundreds of surveys during each calendar year of farm operations in the US. Included in the dataset are statistics related to animal and livestock and crop production, farm economics, and use of chemicals by farm operations. 

USDA Commodity Prices: Presents data on crop prices, by commodity and state. Prices received represent sales from producers to first buyers. They include all grades and qualities. The average commodity price from the survey multiplied by the total quantity marketed theoretically should give the total cash receipts for the commodity. Individual producers normally market commodities few times during the year.

USDA Farm Counts: The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issues data on the number of farms and land in farms by state. 

USDA Per Capita Food Availability: The per capita food availability data compiled by the USDA Economic Research Service reflect the amount of food available for human consumption in the United States. This historical series measures the national food supply of several hundred foods, and it is the only source of time series data on US food availability in the country. ERS's food availability data are often referred to as food disappearance data because the data represent the resulting food supply after food "disappears" into the food marketing system. Food availability data measure the use of basic commodities, such as wheat, beef, and shell eggs for food products at the farm level or an early stage of processing. They do not measure food use of highly processed foods.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Import/Export Indexes includes trade data on US exports and imports for agricultural commodities and products.  Also explore datasets from the BEA and Census Bureau for data on employment in farms, food consumption expenditures, and much, much more. 

US Agriculture Statistics: DataSheet Examples

Clink on the links below to view sample DataSheets comprising statistical abstracts complete with infographics of indicators relevant to US agriculture in Data-Planet Statistical Ready Reference. From the infographic, you can also enter Data-Planet Statistical Datasets to further manipulate the data and explore relationships between agriculture metrics and other indicators in the vast Data-Planet repository. [Note that when you are logged into Statistical Ready Reference, you can create an updated version of the DataSheet to view the latest available data.] 

The indicators below are linked to DataSheets. These are just a sampling to give you an idea of the granularity of the available data. There are many more indicators on this topic in the repository - add search terms for commodities, states, counties, and more, or contact your library staff for help in formulating your search strategy.

Animals and Livestock - Animal Totals : Shows the trend in prices received for animal products compared to a base period.

Animals and Livestock -Dairy : Shows the trend in production of low-fat ice cream.

Animals and Livestock - Livestock : Shows the trend in the production of hogs by Iowa farm operations.

Animals and Livestock - Poultry : Shows the trend in the price received by poultry operations for eggs, measured in $ per dozen.

Animals and Livestock - Specialty : Shows the trend in the number of bison slaughtered in commercial production.

Crops - Crops Totals : Shows the trend in the value of agricultural production in California.

Crops - Field Crops : Shows prices received for field grains compared to a base period.

Crops - Fruit and Tree Nuts : Shows the trend in value of pecans produced by farm operations in Georgia.

Crops - Horticulture : Shows a trend in the number of farm operations with sales of mushrooms.

Crops - Vegetables : Shows a trend in the number of acres harvested of sweet corn in Pennsylvania. 

Economics - Expenses : Shows the trend in the amount of money spent on hired and contract labor by farm operations in Nebraska.

Economics - Farm and Land Assets : Shows the trend in value of agricultural land assets of farm operations, in $/acre.

Economics - Income : Shows income received compared to a base period.

Economics - Prices Paid : Shows the trend in the prices paid by farm operations for tractors as compared to a base period.

Crop Production : Shows the trend in the amount of romaine lettuce produced in the nation.

Crop Prices : Shows the trend in price received per 100 lbs of garlic.

Crop Yield : Shows yield of maple syrup per tap in New Hampshire over the period 2001-2012.

Crops Harvested : Shows the trend in the amount of hops harvested in the United States since 1915.



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Sample DataSheet: Peach Production in the US

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