Skip to main content

Research and Science

NASS Highlights National Barbecue Month

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to break out the grill and cornhole – May is National Barbecue Month! It’s also national beef, egg, strawberry, and salad month. Apropos of a backyard shindig, lemonade and apple pie days are also in May. As a matter of fact, the summer months coincide with the peak of several fruits and vegetables, nearly all perfect for a barbecue.

Exporting Used Textiles Helps Global and Local Economies

Donating used clothing to charities obviously helps clothe and employ fellow Americans, but other benefits fly below the radar: exporting worn textiles provides income to low- and middle-income foreign countries, and also helps the environment. That win-win-win situation gives new meaning to the phrase, “giving the shirt off your back.”

NASS Surveys Provide U.S. Agricultural Supply Data for Trade

With May being World Trade Month, it is worth noting that the source of data to determine the U.S. supply of crops and livestock is America’s farmers and ranchers who fill out surveys from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These statistics feed directly into the monthly World Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE), which shows how much food, feed, fuel, and fiber are available or expected to be available around the world throughout the year. These data are available free of charge to anyone who wants them and are widely regarded as the gold standard.

Protecting the Military from Flying Foes

For over 75 years, USDA scientists have been developing ways to protect the U.S. military around the world from powerful adversaries—mosquitoes and other biting arthropods that cause disease. Their work began in 1942 in a small USDA field laboratory in Orlando, where scientists made key discoveries about new chemicals for controlling these pests. At the time, the most effective repellents lasted only 2 hours, and the U.S. military needed a repellent that could protect for 10 hours.

Exploring Global Agricultural Trade Information from USDA’s Economic Research Service

Did you know that the United States is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the European Union? Agricultural trade supports American jobs and spurs non-farm economic activity. In 2016, U.S. agricultural exports required over one million full-time civilian jobs, including 764,000 jobs in the nonfarm sector. Each dollar of U.S. agricultural exports supported an additional $1.28 in farm and non-farm business activity. Moreover, U.S. agricultural trade surplus has historically helped to offset some of the trade deficit in non-agricultural sectors.

Plan for the Fall 2018 School Year with Resources from Nutrition.gov

Are you a teacher looking for nutrition-related handouts, lesson plans, or historical documents for your classes? Nutrition.gov has added new resources to help you. Just in time for National Teacher Appreciation Day, Nutrition.gov has developed a new web page under the Smart Nutrition 101 section that provides a list of printable materials and handouts that can be used for the classroom, health fairs, and other educational events.

Counting Those that ‘Run for the Roses’

The horse racing community and most Kentuckians may be champing at the bit to hear the pounding of the hooves the first Saturday in May, but here at the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we’re focusing on counting all those horses and measuring the value of equine production and sales.

If She Can See It, She Can Be It: Girl Scouts Learn STEM at USDA

“It felt a little buzzy,” said Lily Meritt, 7, a Daisy Girl Scout from Montgomery County, Maryland. She watched hungry mosquitoes through a plexiglass container as a USDA research scientist talked about pests that love to bug people. Lily and other D.C.-area Girl Scouts visited USDA headquarters to meet women scientists, learn about their work, and discover career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).