National Agricultural Statistics Service

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. NASS has 12 regional offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and a headquarters unit in Washington, D.C.. NASS conducts hundreds of surveys and issues nearly 500 national reports each year on issues including agricultural production, economics, demographics and the environment. NASS also conducts the United States Census of Agriculture every five years.

National Agricultural Statistics Service
Agency overview
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Making up the crop report in 1917
Compiling the crop report in 1917


During the Civil War, USDA collected and distributed crop and livestock statistics to help farmers assess the value of the goods they produced. At that time, commodity buyers usually had more current and detailed market information than did farmers, a circumstance that often prevented farmers from getting a fair price for their goods. Producers in today's marketplace would be similarly handicapped were it not for the information provided by NASS.

The creation of USDA's Crop Reporting Board in 1905 (now called the Agricultural Statistics Board) was another landmark in the development of a nationwide statistical service for agriculture. A USDA reorganization in 1961 led to the creation of the Statistical Reporting Service, known today as National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).[1]

The 1997 Appropriations Act [2] shifted the responsibility of conducting the Census of Agriculture from U.S. Census Bureau to USDA. Since then the census has been conducted every five years by NASS. Results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture were released on May 2, 2014.[3]

Surveys and reports

The primary sources of information for NASS reports are farmers, ranchers, livestock feeders, slaughterhouse managers, grain elevator operators and other agribusinesses. NASS relies on these survey respondents to voluntarily supply data for most reports.

NASS surveys are conducted in a variety of ways, including mail surveys, telephone interviews, online response, face-to-face interviews and field observations. Once the information is gathered and interpreted, NASS issues estimates and forecasts for crops and livestock and publishes reports on a variety of topics including production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm income and finances, and agricultural chemical use. NASS's field offices publish local data about many of the same topics.

Importance of NASS data

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An NASS statistician explains data at a 2017 briefing.

Producers, farm organizations, agribusinesses, lawmakers and government agencies all rely on the information produced by NASS. For instance:

  • Statistical information on acreage, production, stocks, prices and value is essential for the smooth operation of federal farm programs.
  • Agricultural data are indispensable for planning and administering related federal and state programs in such areas as consumer protection, conservation and environmental quality, trade, education and recreation.
  • NASS data helps to ensure an orderly flow of goods and services among agriculture's producing, processing and marketing sectors.
  • 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.
  • Farmers and ranchers rely on NASS reports in making various production and marketing decisions, such as how much grain to plant, how much livestock to raise and when to buy or sell agricultural commodities.
  • NASS estimates and forecasts are used by the transportation sector, warehouse and storage companies, banks and other lending institutions, commodity traders and food processors.
  • The businesses that provide farmers with seeds, equipment, chemicals and other goods and services use the data when planning their marketing strategies.
  • Analysts 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.
  • Crop reports relating to acreage, yields, and production.


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See also

External links

Agricultural Resource Management Survey

The Agricultural Resource Management Survey is the United States Department of Agriculture’s primary source of information on the financial condition, production practices, resource use, and economic well being of America’s farm households. Sponsored jointly by the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), ARMS began in 1996, as a synthesis of the former USDA cropping practice, chemical use, and farm costs and returns surveys, which dated back to 1975. ARMS data underpin USDA’s annual estimates of net farm income and fulfills a congressional mandate that USDA provide annual cost-of-production estimates for commodities covered under farm support legislation. ARMS also provides data regarding chemical use on field crops required under environmental and food safety legislation.

Additional information about the survey and its uses at


An agrochemical or agrichemical, a contraction of agricultural chemical, is a chemical product used in agriculture. In most cases, agrichemical refers to pesticides including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and nematicides. It may also include synthetic fertilizers, hormones and other chemical growth agents, and concentrated stores of raw animal manure.

Atascosa, Texas

Atascosa is an unincorporated community located in Southwest Bexar County, Texas, United States. Atascosa is 14 miles southwest of Downtown San Antonio. It is located between Von Ormy and Lytle off I-35. It is often confused with nearby Atascosa County. The community is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Bag (unit)

Bags have been used as standard measures for a variety of commodities which were actually supplied in bags or sacks. These include:

Cement is commonly sold in bags of 94 pounds weight, because this is about 1 cubic foot of powdered cement.

Agricultural produce in England was sold in bags which varied in capacity depending on the place and the commodity. Examples include:a bag of wheat in Staffordshire would contain 3 Winchester bushels while a bag of oats would contain 6 standard bushels.

in the West Country, apples would be sold in bags of from 16 to 24 gallons. A measure of 24 gallons was known as the Cornish bushel.Bags are used as units by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for the following commodities:coffee = 60 kg

flour = 100 pounds

grapefruit = 40 pounds

rice = 100 poundsThe Oxford English Dictionary has a definition of "bag" as "A measure of quantity for produce, varying according to the nature of the commodity" and has quotations illustrating its use for hops in 1679, almonds in 1728 (where it is defined by weight as "about 3 Hundred Weight" i.e. 336 pounds (152 kg) in Imperial units) and potatoes in 1845 (where it is a volume measure of "three bushels" - i.e. 24 imperial gallons (110 L)).

Carol A. Gotway Crawford

Carol Anne Gotway Crawford is an American mathematical statistician and since May 2017 chief of design, methods, and analysis for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. From August 2014 to April 2017, she was with the Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. She was formerly at the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also holds an adjunct faculty position at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and is an expert in biostatistics, spatial analysis, environmental statistics, and the statistics of public health. She also maintains an interest in geoscience and has held executive roles in the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences.Carol Anne Gotway did her undergraduate studies at Bradley University and her graduate studies in statistics at Iowa State University, earning a master's degree in 1986 and completing her Ph.D. in 1989. Her dissertation, supervised by Noel Cressie, was Inference from Spatial Processes. After an internship at RAND Corporation and postdoctoral studies at the Centre de Géostatistique of the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris in Fontainebleau, France, she became a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories.

She moved to the Department of Biometry at the University of Nebraska in 1992, and moved again to the Centers for Disease Control in 1996.

In 2008, she became associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Control.As Carol A. Gotway, she is the author of the books Applied Spatial Statistics for Public Health Data (with Lance A. Waller, Wiley, 2004) and Statistical Methods for Spatial Data Analysis (with Oliver Schabenberger, Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2005).In 1999, the Section on Statistics and the Environment of the American Statistical Association gave Gotway Crawford their Distinguished Achievement Medal.

In 2002, Gotway Crawford was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

She is also an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

In 2009, she was given the LAS Distinguished Alumnus Award of Bradley University.

Catherine Woteki

Catherine E. Woteki was the under secretary for United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, as well as the department's chief scientist. Her responsibilities include oversight of the four agencies that comprise REE, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS.) The National Agriculture Library and National Arboretum also fall under this mission area.

Before joining USDA, Woteki served as global director of scientific affairs for Mars, Incorporated, where she managed the company's scientific policy and research on matters of health, nutrition, and food safety.From 2002 to 2005, she was dean of agriculture and professor of human nutrition at Iowa State University, where she was also the head of the Agriculture Experiment Station. Woteki served as the first under secretary for food safety at USDA from 1997 to 2001, where she oversaw U.S. Government food safety policy development and USDA's continuity of operations planning. Woteki also served as the deputy under secretary for REE at USDA in 1996.Prior to going to USDA, she was deputy associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1994 to 1996. During that time she co-authored the Clinton Administration's policy statement, Science in the National Interest. Woteki has also held positions in the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1983 to 1990), the Human Nutrition Information Service at USDA (1981 to 1983), and as director of the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences (1990 to 1993). During her tenure as director of the Food and Nutrition Board, she had direct responsibility for twenty-seven studies and co-edited a nutrition book entitled Eat for Life, which became a Book of the Month Club selection.

Woteki's research interests include nutrition, food safety policy, risk assessment, and health survey design and analysis. She is the author of over sixty refereed scientific articles and twelve books and technical reports.

In 1999, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where she has chaired the Food and Nutrition Board (2003 to 2005). She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in human nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1974). Woteki received her B.S. in biology and chemistry from Mary Washington College (1969).

Cherry production in Michigan

Cherry production in Michigan is a major part of the agriculture industry in the state. Harvesting over 90,000 tons of cherries each year, Michigan is the nation's leading producer of tart cherries. The Montmorency cherry is the variety of tart, or sour, cherry most commonly grown in the state.Michigan's cherry industry is highly vulnerable to a late spring frost, which can wipe out a season's harvest. This occurred most recently in 2012, when over 90% of the crop was lost.The Fruit Belt (also called the Fruit Ridge) of western Michigan, and, in particular, the Grand Traverse Bay region, produce most of the state's cherries. In addition, Traverse City hosts the National Cherry Festival each July.

Crop reports

Crop reports are reports compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on various commodities that are released throughout the year. Information in the reports includes estimates on planted acreage, yield, and expected production, as well as comparison of production from previous years.

Cynthia Clark

Cynthia Zang Facer Clark (born April 1, 1942) is an American statistician known for her work improving the quality of data in the Federal Statistical System of the United States, and especially in the National Agricultural Statistics Service. She has also served as the president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics and the Washington Statistical Society. As of 2018 she is executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.


A farm is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy, pig and poultry farms, and land used for the production of natural fibres, biofuel and other commodities. It includes ranches, feedlots, orchards, plantations and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, and includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea.

Farming originated independently in different parts of the world, as hunter gatherer societies transitioned to food production rather than, food capture. It may have started about 12,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock in the Fertile Crescent in western Asia, soon to be followed by the cultivation of crops. Modern units tend to specialise in the crops or livestock best suited to the region, with their finished products being sold for the retail market or for further processing, with farm products being traded around the world.

Modern farms in developed countries are highly mechanized. In the United States, livestock may be raised on rangeland and finished in feedlots and the mechanization of crop production has brought about a great decrease in the number of agricultural workers needed. In Europe, traditional family farms are giving way to larger production units. In Australia, some farms are very large because the land is unable to support a high stocking density of livestock because of climatic conditions. In less developed countries, small farms are the norm, and the majority of rural residents are subsistence farmers, feeding their families and selling any surplus products in the local market.

Hubert Hamer

Hubert Hamer is the top official of the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the agency that produces most official U.S. government statistics on agriculture and food.

Hamer has been at NASS since the 1990s and was made Administrator in 2016. He had worked in several field offices, then became an administrator of field offices, then became director of NASS's Statistics Division and chair of the USDA's Agricultural Statistics Board. He is NASS's first African-American administrator.

Idaho wine

Idaho wine refers to wine made from the U.S. state of Idaho. Idaho has a long history of wine production with the first vineyards in the Pacific Northwest being planted here in the 1860s. Like in other areas Prohibition in the United States virtually wiped out the Idaho wine industry in the early twentieth century only to have it resurrected again in the 1970s. Today, Idaho's wine industry is Idaho's fastest growing agricultural industry.

Linda J. Young

Linda Jean Young (born 1952) is the Chief Mathematical Statistician and Director of Research and Development at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Her research interests include integrating diverse data especially that involving spatial data, agriculturl data, and statistical ecology.

Young earned BS and MS degrees in mathematics from West Texas State University in 1974 and 1976, respectively. She completed her PhD in 1981 from Oklahoma State University. Her dissertation, Estimation and Testing Procedures for the Parameters of the Negative Binomial Distribution, was supervised by John Leroy Folks. She has served on the faculty of three land grant institutions: Oklahoma State University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Florida.With Jerry H. Young, she is the author of the book Statistical Ecology: A Population Perspective (Kluwer, 1998).

She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Nass, Washington

Nass is an unincorporated community in Yakima County, Washington, United States, located approximately one mile east of Granger.

The community developed around a spur of the Northern Pacific Railway Company line. According to railroad historians, NASS stands for National Agricultural Statistics Service, although the community may have been named after people in the area with a last name of Nass.

Poultry farming in the United States

Poultry farming is a part of the United States's agricultural economy.

Prices received index

The prices received index is an index that measures changes in the prices received for crops and livestock. The National Agricultural Statistics Service currently publishes the index on a 1990-92 = 100 base. A ratio of the prices received index to the prices paid index on the 1990-92 base that is greater than 100% indicates that farm commodity prices have increased at a faster rate than farm input prices. When the ratio is less than 100%, farm input prices are increasing a more rapid pace than farm commodity prices. The prices received index and the prices paid index are used to calculate the parity ratio.


Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC, and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape". It is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, South Africa, and in the Italian region of Apulia, where it is used as a blending grape. In the US states of Maryland and Virginia, there are small experimental plantings of the vine, and plantings in California have increased dramatically in the first years of the 21st Century. It also shows great promise in Arizona and Oregon. Tannat wines produced in Uruguay are usually quite different in character from Madiran wines, being lighter in body and lower in tannins. It is also used to make Armagnac and full bodied rosé. In France, efforts to solve the harsh tannic nature of the grape led to the development of the winemaking technique known as micro-oxygenation.

Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics

The Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics is a high-ranking official within the United States Department of Agriculture that provides leadership and oversight for the Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Library, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area of the U. S. Department of Agriculture has Federal leadership responsibility for Advancing scientific knowledge related to agriculture through research, extension, and education.REE delivers the scientific discovery mission of USDA through:

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the largest intramural research agency of USDA. ARS has a workforce of around 8,000 employees, including 2,500 life and physical scientists who represent a wide range of disciplines and who work at more than 100 locations across the country and at five overseas laboratories. The ARS research agenda is broad, with about 1,200 research projects organized under 4 major program areas: Nutrition, Food Safety and Food Quality; Animal Production and Protection; Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems; and Crop Production and Protection.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is USDA’s primary extramural research funding agency. Its mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, and human health and wellbeing by funding targeted research, education, and extension projects and programs, some of which are specific to the Land-Grant University System, others open to participation by other partner organizations.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) is USDA’s primary source of economic information and economic and social science research. ERS’ mission is to anticipate economic and policy issues related to food, agriculture, the environment, and rural development, and conduct research that guides public program and policy decisions.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is committed to providing timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. Its reports cover virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture, including production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers.The position is vacant as of March 2017. Dr. Catherine Woteki was Under Secretary, as well as the Department's Chief Scientist, after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 16, 2010 until December 2016.

On July 19, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Sam Clovis of Iowa for the position. At the time, Clovis was Senior White House Advisor to the Department of Agriculture and was formerly chief policy advisor and national co-chair of the Trump-Pence campaign. According to Ricardo Salvador, Food and Environment Program Director for the science advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, Clovis lacks the traditional technological and scientific background of the post and is a self-proclaimed climate change skeptic. Clovis withdrew his nomination on November 2, 2017.

United States Census of Agriculture

The Census of Agriculture is a census conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) that provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the United States.

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