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The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S.marker Department of Agriculturemarker. Located in Washington D.C.marker, the mission of ERS is to inform and enhance public and private decision-making on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, farming, natural resources, and rural development. To accomplish this mission, highly trained economists and social scientists develop and distribute a broad range of economic and other social science information and analysis.

ERS's timely research and analysis provide public and private decision makers the information they need to conduct business, formulate policy, or learn about the farm, rural, and food sectors. ERS materials are used by the press and other news media, and both print and electronic publications are available to the public.

The Agency's work is structured among four divisions:
  • Food Economics
  • Information Services
  • Market and Trade Economics
  • Resource and Rural Economics


The ERS program encompasses research and analyses of food and commodity markets, policy studies, and development of economic and statistical indicators. The information and analyses are produced for the private sector and to help the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government develop, administer, and evaluate farm, food, rural, and resource policies and programs.

ERS staff disseminates economic information and research results through an array of academic, policy-, and public-oriented outlets, including:
  • Agency-published research reports, market analysis and outlook reports, and ERS periodicals
  • The ERS website, which provides access to all ERS products through topical briefing rooms and key topics pages, and links users directly with ERS analysts
  • Oral briefings, written staff analyses, and congressionally mandated studies delivered directly to executive and legislative branch policymakers and program administrators
  • Articles published in professional journals including, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, American Journal of Public Health, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Oxford Economics Papers
  • Papers presented to academic colleagues at the annual meetings of the Allied Social Science Association, the American Agricultural Economics Association, and other scientific and professional organizations


In addition to research reports and market analysis reports, ERS publishes a magazine, Amber Waves, four times a year. The magazine covers the agency's entire range of economic research and analysis. Available online and in print, Amber Waves covers recent ERS research on agriculture, food, rural Americamarker, trade, and the environment. ERS provides information to Congressional and executive branch policymakers and their staffs, commodity and trade associations, the media, public interest groups, and the general public. The agency's reports, publications, and data products are widely disseminated in print and electronically through the ERS website.

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