The Off-Farm Grain Stocks surveys provide detailed estimates of grains, oilseeds, and pulse crops stored in any commercial facility off the farm.
Off-farm stocks surveys are conducted in every State for barley, canola, corn, flaxseed, mustard seed, oats, rapeseed, safflower, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat. Grain stocks frequently move to areas other than where produced, thus requiring coverage by all States to fully account for all off-farm stocks. Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota are the only States estimating rye stocks. Austrian winter peas, chickpeas (garbanzos), dry edible peas, and lentils are estimated in California, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. The target population is all commercial grain storage operations, including grain and oilseed processing plants, terminals, and any other facilities that store grains, oilseeds, and pulse crops (excluding peanuts and rice) that would not be classified as a farm. Separate rice stocks surveys are conducted in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. Peanut stocks are estimated for the U.S. only.
Estimates for grains, oilseeds, and pulse crops are combined with On-Farm Stocks estimates and published in the Grain Stocks report and estimates for rice are released in the Rice Stocks report, which are normally released at the end of the month containing the reference date. The only exception is for the December 1 reference date, which is released in January. The Peanut Stocks and Processing reports are released near the end of the month.
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Operations are asked to report the quantity of grains, oilseeds, and pulse crops on hand as of the reference date. All surveys ask for the storage capacity of the operation. A distinction is made between old crop stocks and new crop stocks on the last survey of the marketing year to accurately measure carry out stocks.
Data are used by commodity markets, educational institutions, state and federal agencies, farm and ranch operators, and others for market assessment, planning, decision making, and on-going research. Grain stocks are an essential component of supply and demand balance sheets required to monitor food security and to enhance efficient global marketing.
Production forecasts are greatly relied upon by the transportation sector, warehouse and storage companies, banks and other lending institutions, commodity traders, and processors. Those in agribusiness who provide farmers with inputs, equipment, and other goods and services study reports when planning their marketing strategies. Analysts transform the statistics into projections of coming trends, interpretations of the trends' economic implications, and evaluations of alternative courses of action for producers, agribusinesses, and policy makers.
Off-Farm Grain Stocks surveys are conducted four times per year: March, June, September, and December. Rice stocks surveys are conducted in all six states in March, August, and December. California conducts an additional survey in October. Peanut stocks surveys are conducted monthly. The reference date is always the first of the respective month, except peanuts, which is the last day of the previous month. Data for major crops (barley, corn, oats, soybeans, and wheat) are collected each quarter, while data for minor crops (flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, and sunflowers) are collected once or twice a year.
An attempt is made to contact nearly 9,400 off-farm storage facilities by mail, phone, or personal visit each quarter. In some instances, company headquarters prefer to report for multiple plants or several line facilities. Adjustments are made for non-reporting facilities based on capacity data, previously reported data, and relationships that exist for reporting firms of similar size and type to ensure all stocks are accounted for. Over 50 operations are contacted for Rice Stocks and over 200 for Peanut Stocks.
Last modified: 12/04/09
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