The mission of USDA's Economic Research Service is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural development;  and to conduct high-quality, objective, economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. ERS shapes its research program and products to serve those who routinely make or influence public policy and program decisions.

ERS is one of the principal statistical agencies in the Federal Government and, therefore, ERS is responsible for ensuring the quality, objectivity, and transparency of the statistical information and analysis it provides. Our policies and standards for publishing research and data are designed to ensure that we provide high quality and objective analysis.  ERS provides the Nation’s statistics for food security, farm income, agricultural productivity, and is part of USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

The agency both anticipates and responds to decision makers’ needs. ERS researchers frequently provide briefings to policymakers and USDA leadership and our staff analysis program provides rapid responses to their requests for information or analysis.

  • Annual Budget: about $86 million
  • Employees: about 330 social scientists and professional support staff
  • Strategic Plan for 2013-2018 (updated plan for 2019-2024 coming soon)