USDA this week rolled out a new version of its Market News website, boasting simpler navigation and more logical organization for users seeking data to evaluate market conditions and trends.
The new Portal combines information from various commodity groups into a single site and is patterned after the USDA’s home page, the agency said. The Portal also will improve reliability and provide better platform for future upgrades.
USDA Market News provides current and historical, unbiased price and volume information to assist in the marketing and distribution of agricultural commodities. Market News information provides a near real-time transparency that helps to level the playing field for all market participants, as everyone gets the same information at the same time.
The data, gathered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and provided for free, is released within hours of collection, allowing producers and marketers to compete more intelligently in the marketplace, USDA said.
The new enhancements to the Portal reflect changes in marketing of agricultural commodities by reorganizing the layout of the information on the Portal. Users can access existing market reports or customize reports to meet their specific data needs, including the ability to view organic and locally grown items, in a variety of formats – including text, Excel, PDF and XML.
Market News covers price information for a wide range of commodities including cotton, butter, cheese, milk, fruits, vegetables, ornamental crops, livestock, meats, poultry, eggs, grain, hay, and more.
The Market News Portal was first launched in 2005 and numerous upgrades have been made since then, using the same web address formats. However, because the new Portal is based on a revised platform, registered users will need to revise existing Portal customized bookmarks and scheduled reports. The steps to run reports will remain the same, as does the existing functionality of the Portal. There continues to be no charge for registration.
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of USDA Market News. USDA issued its first report from Hammond, La., in March 1915 by telegraph.
"Over the years, our reports have evolved but our service and dedication to the agricultural industry remains our focus," said Charles Parrott, Agricultural Marketing Service Fruit and Vegetable Program Deputy Administrator. "Over the course of 2015, we will continue to provide information about Market News in honor of the 100th anniversary. We are excited to see what the next 100 years brings."