Documentation

Methods

The Normalized Prices data product contains three tables. Table 1 reports national average prices for agricultural commodities using a 5-year lagged average. Table 2 presents normalized indices for prices paid and received by farmers using 2011 as a base year. Table 3 reports State-level average prices for agricultural commodities calculated using a 3-year rolling average and the ratio of State to national commodity prices. All tables are generated using data reported by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which are available on their QuickStats data portal.

Table 1

Prices reported in table 1 are calculated using a rolling 5-year average of national average commodity prices. The commodities included in table 1 are listed below. The time span defining the rolling average ends 2 years prior to the report year. For example, the national normalized price for rye reported in 2020, Nat norm price for rye, 2020 report year, is calculated as follows:

2014-18 national price for rye divided by 5

Where 2014-18 national price for rye refers to the national market price of rye in 2014-18 as reported by USDA-NASS. 

Table 2

Indices of prices paid and received by farms reported in table 2 are as reported by USDA-NASS in its Agricultural Price Program and use 2011 as a base year (2011=100). The indices included in table 2 are:

Indices for prices received by farmers

  • All farm products
  • All crops
  • Livestock and products

Indices for prices paid by farmers

  • All production items
  • Feed
  • Livestock
  • Seed
  • Fertilizer
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Fuels and energy
  • Farm and motor supplies
  • Automobiles and trucks
  • Tractors and self-propelled machinery
  • Building and fencing materials
  • Wage rates for hired farm labor

Table 3

State-level normalized commodity prices reported in table 3 are generated by calculating the ratio of the rolling 3-year average State price to the three-year average national price and scaling this ratio by the national normalized price reported in table 1. The commodities included in table 3 are the same as those included in table 1 and are listed below. The time span defining the rolling average ends 2 year prior to the report year. For example, a given State's normalized price for rye reported in 2020, State normalized price for rye, 2020 report year, is calculated as follows:

2016-18 average State price divided by 2016-18 national price, times the 2020 report year national normalized price for rye

Where State-level prices for rye, 2016-18 refers to the State-level market prices for rye in 2016-18, National-level prices for rye, 2016-18 refers to national market prices for rye in 2016-18, and National normalized price for rye, 2020 report year is the national normalized price for rye as reported in table 1.

Tables 1 and 3 report national and State-level normalized prices (per unit specified) for the following commodities:

  • Wheat, all types (bushels)
  • Rye (bushels)
  • Rice (hundredweight (cwt))
  • Corn for grain (bushels)
  • Oats (bushels)
  • Barley (bushels)
  • Sorghum grain (cwt)
  • Hay, all types, (baled tons)
  • Dry beans (cwt)
  • Sugarbeets (tons)
  • Sugarcane for sugar (tons)
  • Cotton, lint, upland (pounds)
  • Tobacco (pounds)
  • Cottonseed (tons)
  • Soybeans for beans bushels
  • Peanuts, for nuts (pounds)
  • Flaxseed (bushels)
  • Apples, all commercial (pounds)
  • Oranges, all types (boxes)
  • Grapefruit, all types (boxes)
  • Potatoes (cwt)
  • Sweet potatoes (cwt)
  • Steers and Heifers (cwt)
  • Cows for slaughter (cwt)
  • Calves (cwt)
  • Hogs, barrows, and gilts (cwt)
  • Hogs, sows (cwt)
  • Milk (cwt)
  • Broilers, commercial (pounds)
  • Turkeys (pounds)
  • Eggs (dozens)
  • Wool (pounds)

Amendments

Beginning in January 2014, NASS updated its base reference period to 2011 (i.e., 2011=100). Therefore, the original ERS national price indices tables (2 and 3) were consolidated into one table (table 2) (for national-level price indices with the reference period 2011=100). The original table 4 (from earlier reports) has been relabeled here as table 3. In the 2015 report and all subsequent reports, the hog sector was split into two commodities, barrows and gilts (cwt) and sows (cwt). In the 2016 report the ERS normalized price data was reduced from the original four-table set to include only tables 1-3 (national-level normalized prices received, national-level price indices, and State-level normalized prices received). All subsequent reports follow this format.

Data Sources

All data are gathered and summarized from official statistics from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service QuickStats.

Updates

The next update of the normalized price series is expected to contain estimates for 2020. These estimates should appear at the end of September 2021 as an update to this data product.

Last updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2020

For more information, contact: Aaron Hrozencik