NASS publishes a wide array of livestock estimates every year including cattle and calves, hogs and pigs, sheep and lambs, goats, poultry, equine, aquaculture and even many specialty species such as mink, llamas, elk, deer, bison, and rabbits to name just a few. The frequency of conducting some of these surveys will range from weekly for broilers, monthly for cattle on feed, quarterly for hogs and pigs, to once every five years for llamas.
In April of each year, NASS publishes the Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income report. This publication contains an annual balance sheet and income estimates for cattle, hogs, and sheep. It includes estimates of beginning and ending inventories, births, deaths, cross-state movement, and marketing. Many other statistics are published by State and US.
Economic surveys as defined by NASS encompass a wide range of data including the monthly Agricultural Prices Report. Each month this report presents prices received by farmers for principal crops, livestock, and livestock products; indexes of prices received by farmers; parity prices; prices paid for input items and feeder livestock; indexes of prices paid by farmers; and livestock/poultry feed price rations.
NASS, in cooperation with the Economic Research Service, also conducts the Agricultural Resource Management Surveys (ARMS). These surveys measure commodity production practices and the economic status of farms around the country. Results of these surveys are used to assess the economic health of farms by size, region, and type of farm.
The ARMS surveys are collected in three phases. The initial phase, or screening survey, collects general farm data such as crops grown, livestock inventory, and value of sales. Screening data are used to qualify (or screen) farms for the other phases.
The second phase collects data associated with agricultural production practices. Commodities are surveyed on a predetermined rotation with up to five commodities surveyed in a given year. Farm operators provide data on fertilizer and nutrient applications, pesticide applications, pest management practices, and irrigation.
The final phase, (Phase III) collects whole farm finance, operator characteristics, and farm household information. Operators provide data on farm operating expenditures, capital improvements, assets, and debt. In addition, operators report data on farm-related income, government payments, source and amount of off-farm income, and characteristics of their household. These data are used to gauge the health of America’s farm families and is some of the most sought-after information by policy makers.