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The USDA’s Farmers.gov local dashboard available nationwide
 
By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Indiana Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Farmers nationwide now have access to the USDA’s Farmers.gov local dashboard, which includes information such as commodity prices and weather forecasts at the state and county level.
Ten states – including Indiana and Ohio – were added in a local dashboard expansion on April 1. Iowa, which served as a pilot for the program in January 2023, was also added. The other 40 states were added in October 2023.
The local dashboard program allows producers to access farming data and USDA resources, according to the agency.
Farmers do not need to register to access the site, said Kris Vance, state public affairs specialist for the Indiana office of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Producers may find the dashboard for their state and county at www.farmers.gov/dashboard.
“(USDA) created the Farmers.gov local dashboard to provide farmer-focused data sets and resources from USDA and other government agencies in a single place so farmers can easily access materials that they may need as they run their farm operation,” Vance told Farm World. “They also transformed some of the complex data sets into easy-to-read charts and graphs to help farmers quickly find and analyze information that matters.”
The other states added April 1 were Alaska, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota.
Daily and weekly prices for select commodities are available on the dashboard. For example, corn and soybean data is available for some states, including Indiana and Ohio. Pricing for whole chicken and chicken parts is available for Alaska, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Corn and wheat pricing is available for Kansas.
At first, the goal of the dashboard was to provide at least one commodity price per state, so USDA focused on the top commodity in each state, according to an agency spokesperson. “Now that we have met our initial goal and have dashboards for all 50 states, we can do more research to look into adding additional commodities for states,” the spokesperson said.
Dashboards for Washington, D.C., and territories will be added in the next few months, according to the spokesperson.
Also available on the dashboard is historical climate data, and information on droughts and past storm events. USDA service center contact information and additional state resources may be found there.
The spokesperson said initially, decisions on what to include on the dashboard were made based on Farmers.gov search data and discussions with leadership – the Farmers.gov product owner and business owner. Service center staff were also interviewed. The spokesperson said USDA can use the data from its analytics and feedback from user surveys that it has been gathering since the Iowa pilot was launched.
Vance said, “Over the past year, (USDA) received and reviewed all of the feedback on how to expand and improve the dashboard. Based on the responses, they are planning new features and updates to the dashboard to better meet farmers’ needs. They’ve also made a number of fixes and adjustments to the existing features as a result of farmer feedback.”

4/9/2024