Who We Are and What We Do
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency's primary responsibility is to prepare official estimates of agriculture for the nation, and for each state. There are 45 field offices that serve all 50 states. The Idaho Field Office is located in Boise, ID.
Field offices collect, verify, and analyze data which are used to prepare statistical estimates. Farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses are the grassroots source of information, collected through voluntary surveys conducted by each state office throughout the year. Survey data are collected and summarized at the state level to provide statistical indications. These indications are analyzed by statisticians in each state office who then make recommendations to the national headquarters in Washington, D.C.. Statisticians in headquarters review the state recommendations and issue the state and national estimates to the public on scheduled dates throughout the year. About 300 national and 9,000 state reports are issued annually. Idaho Field Office publications are available by subscription. Cooperative agreements with State governments also permit preparation and publication of county-level estimates of crops and livestock for many states. In addition, many field offices conduct surveys for other government agencies and private organizations.
Idaho 's Agriculture:
Agriculture with a farm gate value of production of approximately $4.0 billion is the number one industry in the Gem State . Most people associate Idaho with our "Famous Potatoes" slogan that adorns our license plates. While this provides much notoriety and recognition for Idaho 's number one crop, Idaho with its scenic beauty and agricultural diversity has much more to offer than the "best" potato in the world.
Traveling the state you will find Idaho 's agriculture is as diverse as its landscape. In the North are the vast dry land grain, dry pea, lentil, and hay fields. The Southwest's traditional crops are mixed with fruit orchards, vegetables, and specialized commodities such as mint, hops, and seed crops. Swinging east along the Snake River , the landscape is dotted with large irrigated fields of alfalfa hay, dry beans, potatoes, small grains, and sugarbeets. The Southeast and East are a mixture of dry land and irrigated grain, hay, and potato fields. We can see cattle and sheep grazing on the vast rangelands throughout the State, and Idaho 's dairy and commercial cattle feeding industries have made tremendous gains during the past decade.
Idaho's agriculture is not only diverse, but it is also a leader in several commodities nationally. Idaho is the number one potato state with more than 29 percent of the U.S. crop produced within our borders. Idaho also leads the Nation in specialty products such as food sized trout, Austrian winter peas, several varieties of dry beans, and is ranked second in the production of sugarbeets, and all dry peas. In total, Idaho is among the top ten for 18 crops, trout, milk production, American cheese, honey, and sheep and lambs. Also, our important cattle feeding industry is ranked 11th in the country.
Yes, we are proud of our "famous potatoes," but we are equally proud of the many other crops and livestock products grown in the beautiful and agriculturally diverse Gem State.