Who We Are and What We Do

Agricultural statistics are important by providing an accurate, unbiased picture of Arizona's and U.S. agriculture. Measurement of present and prospective supplies furnishes a sound basis for judgment and action by farmers, agribusiness, researchers, marketing programs and agencies which service farmers. Thanks and appreciation go to the many Arizona farmers who take the time to provide the data to make these reports possible.

The Arizona Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a federal office funded and staffed by both federal and state resources. This cooperative arrangement is much more efficient than operating separate and duplicate federal and state agencies to measure Arizona agriculture. Our mission is to provide timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a network of 46 field offices (including the Phoenix office), serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico through cooperative agreements with state departments of agriculture or universities. These field offices regularly survey thousands of farm operators, ranchers, and agri-businesses who voluntarily provide information on a confidential basis. Consolidating these reports with field observations, objective yield measurements, and other data, statisticians then produce state statistics. These statistics are forwarded to NASS headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they are combined and released to the public.

The Internet site contains agricultural statistics, an on-line data base, all reports, links to other pertinent sites and even a Kids Page targeted to education on agricultural topics. The national website is at http://www.nass.usda.gov while the Arizona homepage is at http://www.nass.usda.gov/az. For more information, contact us via email at nassrfomtr@usda.gov or call 602-280-8850.

As part of USDA, the federal program includes the Census of Agriculture conducted every five years and an Annual Statistics Program. The Ag Census publishes all agricultural commodities at the state and county level. The Annual Statistics Program provides more timely state level statistics limited to major crop and livestock commodities and a few data series at the county level.

Confidentiality is guaranteed to anyone providing information to NASS regardless if it is acting in the federal or state capacity. According to federal law, the mail list can never be given or sold to any other entity, public or private (this includes other government agencies). Individual data is exempt from requests under the Freedom of Information Act and exempt from subpoena. Data is only published at an aggregate level so that no one can derive information about any single operation.

Annual Statistics Program

About 400 national reports are issued by NASS every year through the Agricultural Statistics Board. These national reports are complemented by about 125 state reports. Each report is released on a fixed schedule according to an annual calendar of release dates. Strict security measures are maintained to ensure that no one gains premature access to the information. The reports provide broad coverage of agriculture, including more than 165 crop and livestock items.

The annual cycle of crop reports begins with projections of the acreage that farmers intend to plant, and continues with reports of acreage planted, acreage intended for harvest, probable yields, and potential production. Final reports of acreage harvested, actual yields, and production are made at the end of the crop production season.

Livestock inventory numbers are published annually or semiannually. Details on hog production, cattle on feed, and the production of eggs, milk, and meat are issued in monthly and quarterly reports. Reports on breeding, farrowings, chick and poult placements, and calf and lamb crops provide indications of prospective market supplies. Measurements of manufactured dairy products and the cold storage holdings of agricultural commodities are also published regularly.

NASS also collects and publishes statistics on a variety of additional subjects pertaining to agriculture as part of the Annual Statistics Program. These include number and sizes of farms, farm labor and wage rates, prices received and paid by farmers, grain stocks, greenhouse & nursery production, fruits & vegetables, fertilizer & pesticide usage, mushrooms, mink, trout, plus many other commodities grown or raised in specialized areas of the country, as well as weekly weather and crop bulletins.

Census of Agriculture

The national Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years. In some ways it resembles the population census with which most Americans are familiar, because the Census of Agriculture attempts to produce a complete quantification of all agricultural items and activities nationwide, just as the population census attempts to count and collect data about every man, woman, and child in this country.

For more than 150 years, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, conducted the census of agriculture. However, the 1997 Appropriations Act transferred the responsibility from the Bureau of the Census to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The 1997 Census of Agriculture is the first census conducted by NASS.

The census of agriculture is the leading source of statistics about the Nation's agricultural production and an important source of consistent, comparable data at the county, State, and national levels. Census statistics are used by Congress to develop and change farm programs, study historical trends, assess current conditions, and plan for the future. Many national and State programs use census data to design and allocate funding for extension service projects, agricultural research, soil conservation programs, and land-grant colleges and universities. Private industry uses census statistics to provide a more effective production and distribution system for the agricultural community.

In keeping with the provisions of Title 7 of the United States Code, no data are published that would disclose the operations of an individual farm. However, the number of farms reporting an item is not considered a release of confidential information and is provided even though other information may be withheld.

The Census of Agriculture is published in various forms including: national, state & county level data; state & county rankings; agricultural atlas; zip code tabulations; and congressional district tabulations & rankings. Special studies that are also part of the census program include the Irrigation & Water Management Survey, the Census of Horticultural Specialties and the Census of Aquaculture.

Statistical Reports

The Arizona Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes numerous reports throughout the year. Some of these reports include:

  • ARIZONA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION- A 2-page release issued each Monday. Includes data on: temperatures and precipitation of selected locations; state weather summary; planting, harvesting and crop development progress; range and livestock pasture conditions.
  • ANNUAL STATISTICS BULLETIN - Annual summary bulletin of approximately 28 pages. Issued late summer. Historical five year series for all major crops, livestock and related data. Includes county data for major agricultural items.


Last Modified: 08/03/2022