The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency's primary responsibility is to prepare official estimates of agriculture for the nation, and for each state. There are 45 field offices that serve all 50 states. The West Virginia State field office is located in Charleston, West Virginia, and is considered a Division within the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. This relationship with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture is through a cooperative agreement that provides a working environment for joining the resources and facilities of the USDA and the State of West Virginia to accomplish mutually beneficial tasks.
Field offices collect, verify, and analyze data which are used to prepare statistical estimates. Survey data are collected and summarized at the state level to provide statistical indications. These indications are analyzed by statisticians in each state office who then make recommendations to the national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Statisticians in headquarters review the state recommendations and issue the state and national estimates to the public on scheduled dates throughout the year. About 300 national and 9,000 state reports are issued annually.
Farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses are the grassroots source of information, collected through voluntary surveys conducted by each state office throughout the year. Thanks and appreciation go to the many West Virginia farmers and agribusinesses who take the time to provide the data to make these reports possible.
Cooperative agreements with state governments also permit preparation and publication of county-level estimates of crops and livestock for many states. In addition, many field offices conduct surveys for other government agencies and private organizations.
USDA/NASS West Virginia Field Office publishes several reports which are available by subscription. Most are available free by E-mail. These reports include:
Weekly information on crop development, published on Mondays throughout the growing season.
Crop acreage, yield, production.
An annual bulletin which includes county level data for major commodities, most of the estimates published by the field office during the year, and presents multiple years of data for most series. (Not available by E-mail)
To subscribe by E-mail Click here. Subscriptions and payments for printed copies are handled by our Headquarters in Washington D.C. If you would like to subscribe to these publications,
download the DOS text subscription form and mail it with payment to:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASS
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161
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West Virginia's Agriculture
Geographically, West Virginia is characterized by rugged, hilly terrain and many small valleys. Although no large areas of level land are found in any sections of the State, the most extensive areas of level to rolling land are in the Shenandoah and lower Greenbrier Valleys, with fine bottom land found along the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.
The most important aspect of West Virginia's climate is its diversity, accentuated by temperature and precipitation differences between mountain and valley locations. Seasons are strongly contrasted and of nearly equal length.Precipitation is ample and well distributed. The average growing season is approximately 160 days.
Early agricultural development was confined to the small valleys, along areas bordering rivers, and the Eastern Panhandle. As lumber and mineral industries developed, more hill land was brought into cultivation, mostly in corn and small grains. Later, changes in mineral industries caused decreases in rural population. Associated with this decrease was a decline in crop area cultivated and a shift to livestock farming. Hay began to replace grain crops. The relatively small field crop acreages are mainly devoted to livestock feeds.
Poultry, meat animals, and dairy dominate the farm economy in the Mountain State. Commercial broiler production has shown a dramatic increase over the last ten years.
Send comments and questions to: USDA/NASS West Virginia Field Office, at email@example.com or phone the West Virginia Field Office at (304) 357-5123 or 1-800-535-7088.