Agricultural Statistics Division conducts agricultural surveys of farmers and agribusinesses to provide accurate, timely, and relevant Minnesota statistics of crop acreage, yield, production, and stocks; livestock inventories; farm prices, expenses, and income; weekly crop and weather conditions during the growing season; agricultural chemical usage; as well as providing statistical services.
The Agricultural Statistics Division is a good example of state and federal cooperation. A cooperative agreement exists between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service to consolidate and coordinate activities in the collection, analysis, and publication of statistical data for the state of Minnesota. The division is made up of both MDA and USDA employees in a cooperative effort to promote economy and efficiency in collecting and disseminating agricultural information. This cooperative effort also minimizes respondent burden and avoids duplication of effort. In addition to the ongoing statistical program, special surveys are conducted for MDA divisions, the University of Minnesota, and other organizations.
Following is a description of Agricultural Statistics Division activities and uses of Minnesota agricultural statistics by the agricultural community and others:
- Conduct statistical surveys and disseminate agricultural statistics to the public in scheduled published reports and electronic media.
- Compile and publish the annual Minnesota Agricultural Statistics book.
- Provide county statistics for crops, livestock, and cash receipts from farm marketings.
- Respond to requests for agricultural statistics information.
- Provide statistical expertise and sampling technology to groups interested in conducting special surveys of benefit to agriculture and rural areas.
- Farmers use agricultural statistics reports, both directly and indirectly, to make production and marketing decisions.
- Agribusinesses use county estimates to help meet farmers' needs for items such as fertilizer, seed, and equipment.
- Farm organizations, Congress, and state and local governments use the published reports to help devise farm programs and policies.
- Agribusinesses use agricultural statistics to determine the supplies of agricultural products available for processing and for export.
- Farm broadcasters and agricultural reporters convey survey results to their audiences and use the data to help focus their stories on important areas of agriculture.
- Researchers and legislators use county-level data to define problem areas and help farmers recover from weather-related losses and from outbreaks of diseases and pests.
- Information is used by farm organizations and governments to evaluate programs affecting agriculture.