California dairy, beef cattle and poultry producers are the largest users of feed grains and forages of any state in the West. Alfalfa is also produced in large quantities. The industry is becoming more and more regionalized. This page provides information relative to sources of price, production and usage information which managers may use to make more informed marketing decisions in the forage, grains and livestock areas.
California dairy, beef cattle and poultry producers import large quantities of grains from the Mid West as well as forage supplies from other Western states. Managers are becoming more keenly aware of the need to stay abreast of late breaking information. This site provide another means for those in the industry to access that information.
Many of the sources here are not necessarily unique but timeliness can be improved by reviewing data immediately when it is released. Several data intensive sites are now available and timely information can be obtained from these sites. Interpretation of data and information is the key. You may wish to refer to some of the analysts I suggest for their opinions, but sharpening your own experience in interpreting national and regional data, as well as trends in the market can make you a better manager. Some of the data and outlook are regionalized. I try to do so in my outlook papers. You may find this helpful, but again, skilled managers make informed decisions based on their own situation and judgement.
Several types of information and sources are suggested. Some important sites are listed below for intermediate term information useful in making decisions between enterprises. Sites important for making short term information are also listed. Finally, the latest outlook papers I write in the field are also available for review.
This web page is designed to direct you to some of the non-commercial sites I have found to be of value in my work. Many others exist. Some sites provide jumps to other sites. I am providing a start here and will be adding more sites in the future. Some really good commercial or "near" commercial sites also exist. Some of these are on futures trading web page
Here are some important data sites to get you going:
The best single site on the Web for agricultural data is at Cornell University's Mann Agricultural Library. The Mann library is USDA's main storage site for all production, analysis and outlook data. Economic Research service analysis and reports are on file
Specifically, their NASS Page archives all USDA production and income data report releases within one half hour after they are released. You can use the search engine at this site and find most statistical and analytical reports from Economic Research Service are on file as are the World Ag Outlook and Situation Board reports which assess the world situation. In addition, a calendar of reports on USDA releases is available for those of you who like to play guessing games with the actual magnitude of USDA production estimates before they are released. You can have them downloaded by e-mail as they are released if you so desire.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service maintains it's own site of weekly price reports released the same day.
Want a peek at our neighbors to the North? Try Farm Bid. They also have links to many useful U.S. sites data sites.
Commercial services are now abundant providing agricultural commodity outlook. The problem for California managers is that most of these are based on Midwest agriculture. However, data and insight in areas like weather, economics and macro economics are useful. One of the best of these is Successful Farming's Agriculture Online. Another similar site is at Ag Web, a consortium involving Pro Farmer, the Farm Journal and others.
Evaluating and anticipating weather and drought is a tough one and sites available are too numerous to mention and easy to find. The place to start if you are interested in a graphic snapshot of national drought conditions, go to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln's National Drought Center and their drought monitor.
Interested in data or custom data sets regarding international trade and other matters? Economic Research Service has a neat system for custom organization of foreign trade and other data files. Data may be organized into an HTML format and then may be copied and pasted directly into Excel for charting or data analysis.
I write California and regional outlook for forages, grains and livestock. These papers may be viewed or downloaded here or at CSU-Fresno's CATI site. I evaluate three areas each fall and spring, cattle, forages and feed grains. You can read and print these files from this site if you have Adobe's Acrobat Reader.
Trade is a current hot topic. I recently completed a paper on relating to beef and cattle trade policies, particularly as they relate to NAFTA and CFTA (Canadian Free Trade Agreement). This paper is available for viewing and printing with the Acrobat Reader. A 29 slide power point set, supporting Excel data file and ERS NAFTA analysis in a self extracting ZIP file (BeefTrade.exe) are also available for downloading.
Download BeefTrade.exe (683 KB)
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