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June 11, 2019 |
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USDA Offers Improved Ag Transportation Data Platform

Now easier to view, access, and download data

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it’s now easier to view, access, and download its data on the transportation of agricultural products by rail, truck, barge and ocean.

Thanks to a new, interactive format, customers have an alternative to static PDFs and Excel versions of the data maintained by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which issues several transportation reports, including the weekly Grain Transportation Report.

“Farmers, commodity analysts, elevator operators, shippers and other stakeholders rely on USDA data to make timely market decisions as they move agricultural products across the country and around the world,” says Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Our new open data platform improves their customer experience and, ultimately, their competitiveness in the global economy.”

“The White House estimates that open data could create hundreds of billions of dollars in economic value. We think the 30,000 subscribers to USDA’s transportation data reports will benefit, furthering Secretary Perdue’s goal of modernizing the Department’s information technology systems and ensuring USDA programs are delivered efficiently and effectively,” Ibach explains.

This new platform meets the tenets outlined in the Open Government Data Act – it is easy to find, download, use and share. Customers will be able to use the data visualization tool to:

  • View up-to-date, interactive dashboards or major transportation modes and markets
  • Access data in many different, open file formats
  • Access data through automatically generated and maintained Application Programming Interfaces (API), which open the door to the development of cell phone and web apps built using the data
  • Select and download data using easy filtering and aggregating
  • Create a variety of visualizations from datasets, including maps
  • Save personalized dataset views and visualizations that are automatically updated to show the latest insights

More information about the tool is available at agtransport.usda.gov.

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