About Us

The Illinois Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS-IL) is a joint federal/state Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). The Field Office is 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 Illinois agriculture. The mission is to serve Illinois , its agriculture and its rural communities by providing meaningful, accurate and objective statistical information.

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a network of 46 Field Offices (including the Springfield Field 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 in various formats, Email subscriptions to reports, links to other agricultural sites, and even a Kids Page targeted to education on agricultural topics. The national website is at nass.usda.gov while the Illinois home page is at www.agstats.state.il.us/. For more information, contact us via Email at nassrfohlr@nass.usda.gov or call (800) 551-1014.

As part of USDA, the federal program includes the Census of Agriculture conducted every 5 years and an Annual Statistics Program. The Ag Census publishes all agricultural commodities at the state and county level with farm counts by zip code. The Annual Statistics Program provides more timely state level statistics but it is limited to major crop and livestock commodities and fewer data series at the county level. The College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign cooperates with NASS-IL on special studies to measure various aspects of IL agriculture, such as Specialty Crops, Value Added Grains and Oilseeds, Farm Policy, Conservation, Satellite Land Classification/Remote Sensing, etc.

As a bureau within IDOA, NASS-IL supports special projects as deemed necessary by the Illinois Director of Agriculture. Some examples of these projects include the p reparation of county estimates of all major crops and livestock inventories; county estimates of farm marketings and cash receipts; Annual Summary Bulletin; March Intentions and June acreage estimates by district; monthly yield per acre estimates of corn, soybeans, and wheat by district (August - January); and district estimates of soil moisture and crop progress in the weekly Illinois Weather & Crops release. Other ongoing surveys include the Mine Reclamation Yield Project which insures that the productivity of surface mining lands are returned to their original potential; Illinois Timber Prices; and the Foreign Ownership Disclosure of Agricultural Land in Illinois.

Confidentiality is guaranteed to anyone providing information to NASS-IL 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 70 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 crop progress and condition reports.

Census of Agriculture - The national Census of Agriculture is conducted every 5 years. In some ways it resembles the population census with which most Americans are familiar. Just as the population census counts every man, woman and child, the Census of Agriculture measures all agricultural production, and economic and operator characteristics nationwide.

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 was the first census conducted by USDA and NASS. Beginning with 1997, Ag Census statistics goes beyond a count of known growers; the statistics include an estimate of growers not on the list at 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. This allows farm counts to be published by zip code.

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.

Last Modified: 11/01/2019