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Data

Tech Professionals Use USDA Datasets to Address Water Management Challenges at the IoT World Hackathon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently took another step forward on its path to accelerate information technology (IT) modernization and improve how it designs agricultural services and interacts with agricultural producers. This spring, USDA joined technical experts, IT professionals, and application developers for the first hackathon at the 2019 Internet of Things (IoT) World Conference in Santa Clara, California.

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs?

USDA Becoming More Data-Driven, Customer-Focused Organization

USDA has committed to becoming a facts-based, data-driven, customer-focused organization. One of the Department’s two Agency Priority Goals (APGs) for FY18-19 is to develop the USDA Chief Executive Officer (CXO) Dashboards, which integrate data from systems spanning the agency’s 29 agencies and staff offices, and provide the Department with enhanced capacity to collect accurate, reliable, complete, accessible, and consistent data. With this initiative, USDA will have created the first Cabinet-level suite of comprehensive administrative dashboards for seven administrative functions: human resources, information technology, finance, property, procurement, security, and operations.

Open Data: Enabling Fact-Based, Data-Driven Decisions

Nearly five years ago, USDA embarked on a journey as a founding partner of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative. GODAN promotes the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible, and usable worldwide. Now with over 700 partners from the private and public sector, non-profits, universities and other groups, the momentum behind this important initiative is increasing. In 2014, USDA partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide funding support to enable the work of the GODAN Secretariat – the people that keep the initiative going day in and day out.

Grass-Cast: A New Grassland Productivity Forecast for the Northern Great Plains

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge—trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. In May, a new Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” has published its first forecast to help producers in the northern Great Plains reduce this economically important source of uncertainty.

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.

Collaboration Across Agencies Supports Food Assistance Research

Who participates in federal food assistance programs, and how does participation affect their lives? Who doesn’t participate, and why not? Policymakers need high-quality data on such questions to make informed decisions about these programs, which affect millions of lives each year. That is why two USDA agencies are collaborating with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce research that sheds new light on the programs.

That’s a Wrap: New Certified Organic Data Released during National Organic Harvest Month

USDA’s National Organic Program defines organic production as a system that is managed to respond to site specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Big Data Yields Big Opportunities in Agriculture

(NIFA is accepting proposals for conferences to identify opportunities and bottlenecks in generating, managing, and integrating data within the food and agricultural system. NIFA will also consider research proposals that apply or enhance big data activities and efforts. Applications submitted to the 2017 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program will be accepted through the deadlines as specified for specific program areas.)

We live in an age in which large volumes of information—“big data”—are generated and collected rapidly to add value to our daily lives. Industry has harnessed data to target advertising, tailor medical treatments, and even develop the technology and infrastructure that allows us to carry miniature computers in our pockets that will pause active functions to accept incoming phone calls.