June 21, 2021

Reference: Historic U.S. Agricultural Data Now Online From National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

In early July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) simplified access to historic data by putting 77 years’ worth of agricultural statistics online.

In the past, this information, published in the annual bulletin Agricultural Statistics, was available in print form only.

The volumes are now available at:
www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Ag_Statistics/index.asp

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NASS and its predecessors at USDA have published Agricultural Statistics since 1936. The bulletins are a compilation of data produced by multiple agencies within USDA. Each volume is a one-stop location for annual production, consumption, trade, and price data for all sorts of crops and livestock, as well as farm economics, spending for government programs, and lots of other statistics important to our country’s agricultural system. These volumes detail U.S. farming for much of the 20th century, including the Dust Bowl and World War II.

While digitizing these past data, NASS statisticians uncovered some fascinating historical facts, including:

  • U.S. egg exports skyrocketed from 5 million dozen in 1940 to 153 million dozen in 1941, the same year the Lend-Lease policy was enacted to provide food aid to Britain and other allies during World War II. By 1944, that number was nearly 700 million dozen.
  • In 1933, hybrid corn seeds made up only one-tenth of 1 percent of the national crop. Within ten years, that proportion reached 50 percent, and by 1956, more than 90 percent of the national corn crop was from hybrid seeds.
  • Iowa harvested 2.36 billion bushels of corn in 2011, more than the entire U.S. corn harvest of 1935.
  • Once staples of American farms, horse and mule populations fell from 18.7 million in 1930 to 3.1 million in 1960, after which the statistic was discontinued.

Direct to Agriculture Statistics (1936-1993)
Note: Files are PDF. Not searchable.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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