Commodity Blog

May 1 2020

NASS Data Now in cmdty

What is the NASS?

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provides data and reports based on surveys accounting for nearly every aspect of U.S. agriculture. This data includes production and supplies of food and fiber, the prices farmers pay and receive, costs associated with running the farm, and demographic changes of U.S. producers. NASS provides data at the national level all the way through to local areas such as counties by partnering with universities and state departments to collect information. Confidentiality and privacy are guaranteed to the farmers and ranchers who provide data.

Who relies on this data? How do they use it?

Smooth operation of the US agricultural industry and farm programs heavily rely on statistical information provided by NASS. Acreage, production, stocks, prices, and income all make an impact on planning and administration. Farmers and ranchers rely on this data for support in making sound production and marketing decisions.

Statistical information on acreage, production, stocks, prices, and income is essential for the smooth operation of Federal farm programs. It is also indispensable for planning and administering related Federal and State programs in such areas as consumer protection, conservation and environmental quality, trade, education, and recreation. The transportation sector, warehouses and storage companies, banks and other lending institutions, commodity traders, and food processors all depend on agricultural data to make sound business decisions. Reliable, timely, and detailed crop and livestock statistics help to maintain a stable economic climate and minimize the uncertainties and risks associated with the production, marketing, and distribution of commodities.

Markets for major agricultural commodities are typically analyzed by looking at supply-and-use conditions and implications for prices. From an economic perspective, these factors determine market equilibrium. In the U.S. agricultural sector, many interactions and relationships exist between and among different commodities. For example, corn production and prices affect feed costs in the livestock sector. Figure 1 provides the historical US Farm Output Index which is calculated based on the agricultural data to analyze over the year economic growth in US agriculture. Moreover, the regular updating of information helps to ensure an orderly flow of goods and services among agriculture's producing, processing, and marketing sectors.


Figure 1, US Farm Output Index

What is the data coverage and what can be done with it?

NASS data provide information on acreage, condition, production, stocks, and prices for all the major agricultural commodities covering field crops, fruits and tree nuts, vegetables, livestocks and dairy. These data series are updated daily allowing you to always be working with the most up-to-date or relevant information from national to county levels.

Users can transform the statistics into projections of coming trends, interpretations of the trends' economic implications, and evaluations of alternative courses of action for producers, agribusinesses, and policymakers. These analyses multiply the usefulness of NASS statistics.

Data provided by the NASS can help agribusinesses and commodity traders stay in the loop. Specifically, this kind of data and analysis can allow users to:

  • Estimate the annual production of commodities based on historical production, acreage planted and harvested.
  • Get an update on the price received for each commodity on a national and state basis for major production states.
  • Examine the production, disposition, utilization, and inventory levels of commodities to make better procurement decisions.

How can I access NASS data?

USDA’s NASS data is available through Barchart’s cmdty line of products. Get the latest agricultural data delivered to your excel spreadsheet via cmdtyView Excel to create bespoke analyses. Barchart’s extensive data and the customizable delivery capabilities allow you to scale your workflows, build bespoke seasonal analysis, or develop products to make better decisions.

Where can I learn more?
Please contact us at cmdty@barchart.com to learn more about agricultural data or anything related to data and solutions for commodity markets.

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