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:
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
In addition to research reports and market analysis reports, ERS publishes a magazine, Amber Waves, covering the agency's entire range of economic research and analysis related to agriculture, food, rural America, trade, and the environment. Amber Waves is published monthly on the ERS website and is also available as a free downloadable app from iTunes and Google Play. 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 disseminated electronically through the ERS website.
As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the principal agencies of the Federal Statistical System have statistical activities as their core mission and conduct much of the government’s statistical work.