USDA opens up market analysis reporting service
Feb. 1, 2018
by Holly Demaree-Saddler
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MARS uses technology to present detailed data sets in a more customer-focused way to better support competitive markets for producers and help stabilize food prices for American families.
WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) launched a new electronic data platform to deliver market price information to the commodities industry. The new web-based platform, Market Analysis and Reporting Services (MARS), uses technology to present detailed data sets in a more customer-focused way to better support competitive markets for producers and help stabilize food prices for American families.
“USDA Market News is the most relied upon source of unbiased agricultural market data,” said Greg Ibach, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “USDA’s on-site market reporters gather, analyze and publish unbiased data all day long to ensure fair food prices for consumers across the country and around the world. The MARS project applies the best data management practices to make that data available when and where farmers, packers and processors need it.”
As US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue promised last summer, USDA staff are using the latest technologies available to deliver the most effective, most efficient, customer-focused service in the federal government. MARS is a tool to improve the transparency, speed and accuracy of USDA Market News, and facilitates the flow of data from more than 3,600 markets to AMS analysts and ultimately to producers, industry and the public.
The new interface provides data analysts one-stop instant access to agricultural commodity data through a searchable database with the ability to create custom reports, data sets and data visualizations to make large amounts of information more easily understandable in a fraction of the time. The USDA said businesses also may utilize the built-in application program interface to use the data to create new uses for the data as customer needs evolve.
On Feb. 2, Market News information for dairy products will be the first set of data and reports available through MARS followed by cotton and tobacco, scheduled for April 2018. Dates for livestock, poultry and grain and specialty crops will be announced on the new My Market News web site. It is anticipated that all Market News data will be moved to the new system by March 2019. The USDA’s existing Market News web site will continue to post data until all commodities are available through MARS.