The World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) serves as USDA’s focal point for economic intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. and world agriculture. The Board coordinates, reviews, and approves the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, houses OCE's Joint Agricultural Weather Facility, and coordinates USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum. Annually, the Forum attracts 1,500 attendees, including producers, policymakers, business leaders, and government and industry analysts.
The need to economize in the face of tightening budgets has sparked efforts to determine the value of U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA) data products. As a result, USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) asked the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) to conduct a “review of the value to the public of surveying and reporting commodity statistics.” The report surveys the social science literature on the value of public data, explores the research on the value of USDA data, and describes a framework for prioritizing data collection and reporting.