USDA’s long-term agricultural baseline projections indicate the 10-year supply, demand, and trade for major agricultural commodities for select exporting and importing countries and regions. The Agricultural Baseline Database webpages contain domestic projections and limited international projections; more detailed international projections can be found on the International Baseline Data webpages.
U.S. commodity and global macroeconomic projections are first made available annually in November (often referred to as the early-release tables). The complete baseline projections, released in February each year, provide country details supporting the USDA’s Agricultural Projections report. The full report contains additional projections for U.S. specialty crops, U.S. farm income, and U.S. agricultural trade.
The projections are based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. Examination of the long-term agriculture projections, in addition to historic data, can better inform decisions related to agricultural policy and business. Projections of key market indicators can help decision makers evaluate the effect of various courses of action. USDA uses the data to develop long-term budget outlay projections for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Scope/Coverage of Data
The domestic baseline projections cover major U.S. field crop, fruit and nut, vegetable, and livestock commodities. The domestic visualization and custom query tools contain only U.S. centered data on field crop and livestock commodities, while the full set of baseline tables (housed by the Mann Library) include all the U.S. projections, macroeconomic projections, and a limited set of international trade projections.
|U.S. commodity coverage|
|Beef and veal|
|Lamb and mutton|
|Fruits and nuts|
|¹ All commodities are not necessarily included in each country or regional model|
As a tool to help the global Baseline results, a U.S. Baseline model includes supply, demand, price, trade, macroeconomic, and policy variables. Below is a categorized tables of select key variables used in the model.
|Model variables ¹|
|Total food demand|
|Per capita food demand|
|Seed, industrial and waste|
|Gross domestic product (GDP)|
|Per capita GDP|
|Consumer price indices|
¹ Only select key model variables are listed
The U.S. projections are developed by commodity-specific analytical tools with input from members in the Interagency Agricultural Projection Committee (IAPC). The final U.S. projections are incorporated into a U.S. model that is part of the international baseline modeling system.
The international models use economic behavioral relationships to project production, use, and trade quantities based on the world and domestic commodity market prices and assumed macroeconomic conditions. Domestic market prices are usually linked to world prices, but the models filter the world prices through import and export tariffs and domestic agricultural policy variables, such as support prices and producer and consumer subsidies.
The Excel-based country and regional model equations are extracted, converted to Fortran, and run together with a linking procedure to allow a global solution for equilibrium prices and trade. The linking method iteratively adjusts world prices until imports and exports balance across all countries for each major agricultural commodity market. The solution algorithm uses a numerical version of Newton’s method, with each slope (trade change versus price change) observed from the previous price-adjustment iteration. The price adjustments are repeated within Gauss-Seidel loops until all commodity markets are simultaneously cleared (meaning that world imports and exports are balanced). During the solution, each country model receives the adjusted world prices and responds, as domestic prices change in response to world price changes, generating changes in its production, consumption, imports, exports, and other variables.
The primary source of historical supply and demand data is the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) database. The database includes most grains, oilseeds and products, cotton, sugar, livestock, and livestock products. Supply-side variables include beginning stocks or animal inventory, area harvested or slaughter, yield, production, and imports. Demand-side variables include food, feed, industrial use, other use, ending stocks, and exports.
Some livestock product data are unavailable or no longer are updated for several country/commodity pairs in the PSD dataset. To include more market participants, the missing data may be pulled from the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) for food balances, livestock production, and livestock trade. The commodities considered are beef and veal, pork, poultry (chicken and turkey) meat, eggs, and lamb and mutton. Any selection of FAOSTAT data is made across the supply and use attributes and years for an entire country/commodity pair. FAOSTAT data series may be used if they are at least as recent as the corresponding PSD data series. PSD is selected as the source where PSD contains current meat data, since the final data years in FAOSTAT end earlier than the final data years for currently updated PSD series.
*For more information on the methods used in the international baseline projection process, please see USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Technical Bulletin Number 1951: The ERS Country-Commodity Linked System: Documenting Its International Country and Regional Agricultural Baseline Models
And in Technical Bulletin Number 1956: Structure of the USDA Livestock and Poultry Baseline Model
Strengths and Limitations
The domestic baseline projections are among a limited number of long-term domestic agricultural projections produced by USDA. The modeling system links geographical areas to better reflect market conditions for 44 select exporting and importing countries and regions. While the models can be run in isolation, frequently the models are solved simultaneously across 24 commodity markets, obtaining equilibrium world prices and balanced trade.
The projections only include policies that are in place or are expected to be implemented as of October of the most recent year. Critical long-term assumptions are made for U.S. and international macroeconomic conditions, weather, U.S. and foreign agricultural and trade policies, and growth rates of agricultural productivity in the United States and abroad. The baseline process also assumes that no domestic or external shocks during the projection period would affect global agricultural supply and demand. Changes in these assumptions can significantly affect the projections, and actual conditions will alter the outcomes. Thus, the projections represent anticipated outcomes based on underlying trends, rather than acting as a forecast based on likely, but uncertain, business cycles, climate developments, and policy changes, among other factors.
- Agricultural Baseline: Questions & Answers
- International Baseline Data
- International Macroeconomic Data Set
- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance
- Commodity Outlook
- Macroeconomics and Agriculture
- Farm Income and Wealth Statistics
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Agricultural Baseline Database.