Earlier this week, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) hosted a webinar on an exciting new initiative to provide unbiased market data to users digitally. Called the Market Analysis & Reporting Services (MARS), this dynamic, innovative technology will assist USDA Market News in collecting and distributing information electronically from remote locations, by combining reporting from all commodity areas (Livestock, Cotton, Specialty Crops, and Dairy) into a single platform.
This modernization effort will improve the transparency, speed, accuracy, and flexibility of this vital service and allow Market News to continue to expand its services to agricultural market participants. To ensure that our changes meet your needs, we are conducting focus groups and welcome you to participate. Your input will enable Market News to speed data flow from the agricultural markets, to agency analysts, and to the public, allowing users to create unique content.
The main purpose of the focus groups is to engage small groups of targeted users to learn about their wants and needs for any public-facing functionality of MARS. Focus group participants should plan to attend 3-5 webinars. Each webinar will begin with a presentation of MARS mockup screens and descriptions of potential functionality. The focus groups will provide an avenue to gather details on needed capabilities and help prioritize them for implementation.
After the initial focus group webinars are complete, AMS will invite participants to test the functionality of MARS to provide us with information on how it works and how to improve it. To find out how you may participate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARS allows for more data availability, better analysis, and improved information availability sooner for more agricultural markets in one easy-to-use tool. USDA Market News makes our nation’s commodity markets one of the most transparent in the world and provides critical market intelligence. Market News works to ensure that everyone in the agricultural supply chain has the information they need when they need it, and MARS will build on service.