Food Systems Data Sources

Here are some excellent sources of data for proposals, articles, reports, and research.

Online County-Level Food and Agriculture Statistical Data

The following online data sources will give you fresh insights into your regional agriculture and food system. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you come across a new data source.

Consumer Price Index (United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Use CPI to adjust all of the above data for inflation.

County-Level Value of Farm Subsidies (Farm Subsidy Database, Environmental Working Group)

This EWG database tracks $322 billion in farm subsidies from commodity, crop insurance, disaster programs and conservation payments paid between 1995 and 2014.

County and State-Level Farm Data (United States Department of Agriculture, Census of Agriculture)

Quick Stats and Desktop Data Query are two excellent tools for downloading data for multiple years.

Desktop Data query (United States Department of Agriculture, Census of Agriculture)

This application is designed to provide desktop access to the 2012 and 2007 Census data. Once downloaded, the application can be run from your computer's local drive or a network.

Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service)

The ERS Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System (FADS) includes three distinct but related data series on food and nutrient availability for consumption. The data serve as proxies for actual consumption at the national level. The three data series include food availability, loss-adjusted food availability, and nutrient availability.

Food Environment Atlas (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service)

Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. The objectives of the Atlas are to assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and to provide a spatial overview of a community's ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.

Food Expenditures Series (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service)

This series annually measures total U.S. food expenditures, including purchases by consumers, governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. ERS developed the series in 1987, and annual data are available from 1929 through 2014.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Performance Results System

A conservation plan can result in more viable and productive land, earning the farmer a higher income. Farm plans help to keep farmers farming!

USDA-NASS Quick Stats (United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service)

Get and download data from the Census and/or Survey of Agriculture. Can adjust for sector, group, commodity, geographic level, and year.

Special Food and Agriculture Excel Data Sets

Marketing bill and farm value components of consumer expenditures for domestically produced farm foods, 1950 to 2006. [Download Data]

This spreadsheet gives you the following:

  1. Total consumer expenditures (Food Bill)
  2. At home (i.e., grocery purchases)
  3. Away from home (i.e., restaurant purchases)
  4. Marketing bill (value of Food Bill that goes to processing, packaging, distribution, retailing, etc)
  5. Farm value (value of Food Bill that goes to the farmer)
  6. Farm value share of expenditures (percent of farmers’ share of Food Bill)

Components of the marketing bill for domestically produced farm food, 1967 to 2006, with projections of farmers' share of marketing bill up to the year 2165. [Download Data]

This spreadsheet gives you the following:

  1. Total consumer expenditures (on domestically produced food)
  2. Labor
  3. Packaging materials
  4. Intercity rail and truck transportation
  5. Fuels and electricity
  6. Corporate profits before taxes
  7. Misc.
  8. Total marketing bill
  9. Marketing Share (percent of marketers’ share of Food Bill)
  10. Farmer Share (percent of farmers’ share of Food Bill)
  11. County Agritourism Data, 2002, and 2007

Number of farms and value of agritourism income and percent change between for farms and income between 2002 and 2007. [Download Data]

This spreadsheet gives you the following:

  1. Geographic location
  2. Agritourism Farms, 2007
  3. Agritourism Farms, 2002
  4. Agritourism income, 2007
  5. Agritourism income, 2002
  6. Percent change in farms
  7. Percent change in income