Agriculture Policy & Farm Bill Briefing Book
Congressional Research Service

Redistributed as a service of the National Library for the Environment


General Sources | Domestic | Foreign/International Trade | Government Spending

General Sources

Agricultural Outlook (monthly)

Magazine by USDA's Economic Research Service that includes dozens of regularly updated tables covering key statistical indicators of the food and fiber sector ­ such as U.S. production, usage, and prices for most major commodities; U.S. price support levels and budget spending for commodity programs; agricultural export and import levels; changes in consumer food prices; measures of farm income and profitability, etc. The magazine also contains narrative articles covering current farm, food, and rural issues; and the site will lead to other ERS publications and data sources.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (monthly)

Each month, USDA forecasts supply and demand for major farm commodities. These forecasts, which are considered an authoritative source by traders, farm businesses, and policymakers, are made for the United States and for the world. They appear as "balance sheets" in which the total supply of a commodity during a marketing year equals the total disposition. Published by USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board.

CRS Report RL30712(pdf). Agriculture in the United States: Selected Data

Provides selected statistical information on U.S. agriculture. Updated periodically, it is divided into seven categories: budget, conservation, farm characteristics, marketing, farm income and prices, trade, and state rankings.

U.S. Agricultural Outlook from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute

Contains 10-year baseline projections for the U.S. agricultural sector and international commodity markets for use by farmers, government policymakers, and others who do medium-range and long-term planning and evaluation of policy options. A joint effort by Iowa State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia.


U.S. Census of Agriculture

Frequently requested data on farm numbers and characteristics from the 1992 and 1997 Census of Agriculture by state. Includes data on farm land use, farm size, tenure, sales, and type of farm organization, down to the state and county levels.

Congressional Districts

Ranking of Congressional Districts report presents selected agricultural statistics ranked by congressional districts from the 1997 Census of Agriculture. A nearby website also provides data on farm numbers, by size, type of commodity, etc., for each congressional district.

NASS Publications and Data Series

Each year, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts hundreds of surveys and prepares reports covering virtually every facet of U.S. agriculture -- production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm aspects of the industry. In addition, NASS's 45 State Statistical Offices publish data about many of the same topics for local audiences.

State Fact Sheets

Information on population, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for each U.S. state. From the Economic Research Service website.

National Resources Inventory

Covers non-federal U.S. land and conducted every 5 years by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in cooperation with Iowa State University. It captures data from 800,000 statistically selected locations on land cover, land use, soil erosion, prime farmland soils, wetlands, habitat diversity, selected conservation practices, and other natural resource information, statistically reliable for national, statewide, and multi-county use.

AMS Market News Reports

Current, objective on prices, volume, quality, condition, and other market data on farm products in specific markets and marketing areas. Reports cover both domestic and international markets. From USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Food Prices

Access to data, supplemented by explanatory information, on U.S. food prices, food spending, margins between farm and consumer prices, etc. Maintained by USDA's Economic Research Service.

Foreign/International Trade

CRS Report 98-253(pdf). U.S. Agricultural Trade: Trends, Composition, Direction, and Policy

Identifies trends in U.S. agricultural trade, examines the commodity composition of both agricultural exports and imports, assesses the relative importance of agricultural exports in relation to domestic production, provides estimates of export market shares for major categories of agricultural products, and discusses the principal markets for exports as well as major suppliers of agricultural products to the U.S. market. Updated as new information becomes available.

USDA's "BICO" Report

Provides U.S. agricultural export and import data on Bulk commodities, high-value Intermediate, and Consumer-Oriented (BICO) foods and beverages. In addition to these three product categories, it also includes U.S. export and import data on forest products and edible fish and seafood products. It is a searchable database, containing 46 separate product groups and all major nations and regions that trade with the United States. Information available on calendar and fiscal year basis. Maintained by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States (FATUS)

A much more detailed database of U.S. agricultural exports and imports, by commodity, with all countries and regions of the world. FATUS is a standard aggregation of the original U.S. trade data found in the code system Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States. FATUS consists of 211 trade groups created by USDA for the purpose of summarizing U.S. agricultural trade in a form most usable by the public. Searchable by country, commodity, and year.

FAO Statistics

On-line databases containing more than one million time-series records covering international statistics in the following areas: agricultural production, trade, food balance sheets, fertilizer and pesticides, land use and irrigation, forest products, fishery products, population, agricultural machinery, and food aid shipments. From the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Food Aid Statistics

Statistics from the United Nations World Food Program on projects, resources, global food aid and procurement, etc.

OECD Statistics

Comprehensive collection of international statistics on food, agriculture, and many related topics, from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose members are more than 30 developed countries.

Government Spending

USDA Farm Program Spending

Gateway to the latest data and information on spending by USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Statistics on payments to farmers, commodity price support loans, total net outlays, etc. Links to USDA appropriation laws. Maintained by USDA's Farm Service Agency.


Page last updated February 21, 2001.

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