Data Training Webinars

Learn how to find and use ERS data! 

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Upcoming Data Training Webinars


Past Data Training Webinars

May 24, 2023

Wheat Data

This webinar has been recorded and will be available for viewing on our Multimedia webpage.

Date: May 24, 2023
1:00 PM ET
1 hour
Andrew Sowell and Bryn Swearingen 


Did you know that U.S. consumption of wheat for food use is projected to reach a record high in 2022/23, while exports are at the lowest level in 50 years? Also, the season-average farm price is estimated at the highest level on record in 2022/23. 

The USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Wheat Data product provides a detailed view of U.S. production, supply, and disappearance statistics on the five classes of wheat: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Soft Red Winter, White, and Durum, as well as Rye. In addition to the forecasts published in the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), this data product provides a unique data series of monthly, quarterly, and marketing year import and export statistics by wheat-class. This data product also contains various domestic and international monthly price series, along with key statistics on food use, flour production, and milling profitability. 

The Wheat Data product brings together data from a wide variety of sources for the benefit of users. During this webinar, ERS Economists Andrew Sowell and Bryn Swearingen present an overview of the product, highlight its many uses, demonstrate where to find it on the ERS website, and show how to use the new Wheat Data Visualization to create graphical displays from these data.  

Wheat Data Training Webinar


APRIL 27, 2023

Poverty Area Measures

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Did you know that since the 1960s, poverty area measures have been relied upon by policymakers to target, implement, and monitor Federal programs supporting a range of initiatives?

The USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Poverty Area Measures data product provides indicators of high poverty areas, extreme poverty areas, persistent poverty areas, and enduring poverty areas for counties and census tracts across all 50 states and Washington D.C. These measures serve as a resource for researchers, Federal agencies, policymakers, and practitioners working to better understand and address issues of poverty, rural development, and equitable access.

Some of these initiatives include:

  • Educational and employment opportunities
  • Health care services and healthy food access
  • Transit services and community facility improvements
  • Housing assistance and land development loans
  • Fiscal health and administrative capacity of local governments
  • Energy savings and climate change resilience
  • Aid to historically underserved population groups
  • Access to telecommunication, including broadband

During this webinar, ERS Geographer Tracey Farrigan and ERS Economist Austin Sanders present an overview of the Poverty Area Measures data product, highlight its many uses, and demonstrate where to find it on the ERS website.

Graphic for the Poverty Area Measures Data Training Webinar


MARCH 28, 2023

Food Price Outlook 

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How much are food prices predicted to increase in 2023?

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) forecasts annual food price changes in the Food Price Outlook (FPO) data product. Forecasting food price changes has become increasingly important due to the changing structure of food and agricultural economies and the important signals the forecasts provide to farmers, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. The FPO forecasts are primarily based on the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) data. The CPI for food measures changes over time in the retail prices paid by consumers for food away from home and for food at home categories such as meats, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. ERS analyzes the current index levels, examines changes, and constructs forecasts of the CPI for food. ERS also analyzes and forecasts the PPI for farm-level agricultural and wholesale food markets. Like the CPI, the PPI measures price changes over time; however, instead of measuring changes in retail prices, the PPI measures the average changes in prices paid to domestic producers for their output.

In this webinar, ERS Economists Matthew MacLachlan and Megan Sweitzer provide an overview of the data and analysis available from the Food Price Outlook data product, highlight its uses, and demonstrate how to find the data on the ERS website.

Graphic for the Food Price Outlook Data Training Webinar


SEPTEMBER 27, 2022

Farm Income and Wealth Statistics & Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) Data Dissemination Tool

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Did you know that ERS is forecasting U.S. net cash farm income in 2022 to reach its highest level since 2012?

These estimates are part of the ERS Farm Income and Wealth Statistics program which measures, forecasts, and explains indicators of economic performance for the U.S. farm sector. The statistics include estimates and forecasts on cash receipts, other sources of income (including Government payments and insurance indemnities), and production expenditures. In addition, ERS estimates and forecasts the farm sector balance sheet (debt, assets, and equity) including financial ratios.

The Farm Income and Wealth Statistics are based, in part, on responses from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s primary source of information on the production practices, resource use, and economic well-being of America’s farms and ranches. With the ERS ARMS Data Dissemination Tool, users can view and download data that summarize production practices, resource use, and financial well-being across different types of farms and ranches.

In this webinar, ERS Senior Economist Carrie Litkowski provide an overview of the Farm Income and Wealth Statistics Data and data visualizations available on the ERS website. ERS Agricultural Economist Dipak Subedi will explain how to use the ARMS Data Dissemination Tool.

Graphic of Data Training Webinar: Farm Income & Wealth Statistics and ARMS Data Dissemination Tool

11, 2022

U.S. & International Agricultural Productivity  

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Agricultural Productivity in the U.S. 

International  Agricultural Productivity 

Over the long term, improvement in agricultural productivity has been the world's primary means of assuring that the needs of a growing population are met by the capacity of the world’s resources to supply food.

One of the most informative measures of agricultural productivity is total factor productivity (TFP). Total factor productivity (TFP) measures the overall efficiency with which farmers transform agricultural market inputs (land, labor, capital, and material inputs such as fertilizer and feed) into agricultural outputs.

USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) provides information on TFP for the U.S. and other countries. The ERS Agricultural Productivity in the U.S. data product provides estimates of outputs, inputs, and TFP for the U.S. farm sector as far back as 1948. The ERS International Agricultural Productivity data product supports comparisons of agricultural productivity growth for countries and regions of the world beginning in 1961.

In this webinar, ERS Agricultural Economists Sun Ling Wang and Stephen Morgan provide overviews of the two data products and highlight uses of the data. They also demonstrate how to find the data on the ERS website.

Graphic for Data Training Webinar: U.S. & International Agricultural Productivity

JUNE 29, 2022

Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer & Meat Price Spreads 

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Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer

Meat Price Spreads

How much of what consumers spend on food at retail stores goes to farmers and ranchers?

USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates the share of retail food prices that farmers receive for a variety of products including beef, pork, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, sugar, and bread. The ERS Meat Price Spreads and Prices Spreads from Farm to Consumer data products compare prices consumers paid for foods with prices received by farmers and ranchers for their commodities. For instance, farmers received more of the price consumers paid at the store for beef (41 percent) than for pork (26 percent) in May 2022. Farmers generally receive a larger share of the retail price for less-processed products such as whole milk and white flour, than for more-processed foods, such as Cheddar cheese and bread.

In this webinar, ERS Senior Economist Hayden Stewart and Cross Commodity Analyst Bill Hahn provide an overview of the data available from the price spreads products, highlight its uses, and demonstrate how to find the data on the ERS website.

Graphic for the Data Training Webinar: Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer & Meat Price Spreads

MAY 24, 2022

Food Access Research Atlas & Food Environment Atlas 

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Food Access Research Atlas (FARA) 

Food Environment Atlas (FEA)

Did you know that 4.7 million households in the U.S. did not have access to a vehicle and lived far from a food store in 2019?

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) plays a leading role in Federal research on access to healthy and affordable food. Most U.S. households and individuals have access to a food store; however, limited access to food stores and an unhealthy food environment may impede the ability of some individuals to eat a healthy diet.

In this webinar, ERS Agricultural Economist Alana Rhone highlights estimates from the Food Access Research Atlas (FARA) and Food Environment Atlas (FEA). She demonstrates how users can map census tracts in the United States by their income status and food store accessibility to analyze food access by State and county, as well as by demographic information such as race and ethnicity. The webinar also covers food environment factors to provide an overview of a community's ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.

Graphic for the Data Training Webinar: Food Access Research Atlas & Food Environment Atlas

APRIL 28, 2022

Agricultural Baseline Database

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Did you know that relatively strong growth in global and U.S. agriculture trade volume is projected over the next 10 years? Although strong trade competition continues, U.S. commodities remain generally competitive in global agricultural markets, with U.S. corn, soybean, and cotton exports projected at record highs by 2031/32.

The USDA Interagency Agricultural Projections Committee develops long-term agricultural projections, also referred to as "baseline" projections, that provide a scenario for the U.S. farm sector and global trade for the next 10 years. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of each sector (such as farm income). The projections identify major forces and uncertainties affecting future agricultural markets; prospects for global long-term economic growth, consumption, and trade; and future price trends and trade flows of major farm commodities.

In this webinar, ERS agricultural economist Matthew Miller discusses how the projections are made and used, provide highlights from the recent projections, and demonstrates how to find the data on the ERS website.

Graphic for Data Training Webinar: Agricultural Baseline Database

MARCH 30, 2022

Agricultural Trade Multipliers (ATM) 

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Did you know the U.S. exported a record $150.1 billion in agricultural goods in 2020? These exports generated a total of $304.4 billion of income in the U.S. economy and supported a total of 1.13 million jobs. USDA's Economic Research Service's Agricultural Trade Multipliers provide annual estimates of employment and output effects of trade in farm and food products on the U.S. economy. When expressed as multipliers, these effects reflect the amount of economic activity and jobs generated by agricultural exports.

In this webinar, ERS Economist Wendy Zeng presents the highlights and potential takeaways from the ATM data product, an overview of what ATM is used for, and walked participants through how to use the online calculator.

Graphic for Data Training Webinar: Agricultural Trade Multipliers


2021 Data Training Webinars 

MAY 11, 2021

A Look at the Economic Research Service's Commodity Costs & Returns Data

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The Economic Research Service's Commodity Costs and Returns data product reports estimates for twelve major field crops and animal products. Updated twice a year, these estimates are useful for informing stakeholders, including policymakers, agribusiness, and researchers, of current and historical costs and returns associated with major U.S. commodities. The estimates are also featured in numerous ERS reports and serve as the basis for research.

During this webinar, ERS Economist Samantha Padilla provided an overview of the Commodity Costs and Returns data and walked participants through accessing and using the data product.

Graphic of the Data Training Webinar: Commodity Costs & Returns Data