The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. NASS has 46 field offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and a headquarters unit in Washington, D.C.. NASS conducts hundreds of surveys and issues nearly 500 national reports each year on issues including agricultural production, economics, demographics and the environment. NASS also conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years.
During the Civil War, USDA collected and distributed crop and livestock statistics to help farmers assess the value of the goods they produced. At that time, commodity buyers usually had more current and detailed market information than did farmers, a circumstance that often prevented farmers from getting a fair price for their goods. Producers in today's marketplace would be similarly handicapped were it not for the information provided by NASS.
Dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or an animal husbandry, enterprise, for long-term production of milk, usually from dairy cows but also from goats, sheep and camels, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy factory for processing and eventual retail sale.
Most dairy farms sell the male calves born by their cows, usually for veal production, or breeding depending on quality of the bull calf, rather than raising non-milk-producing stock.]citation needed[ Many dairy farms also grow their own feed, typically including corn, and hay. This is fed directly to the cows, or is stored as silage for use during the winter season.
Dairy cattle (also called dairy cows or milk cows) are cattle cows bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.
Historically, there was little distinction between dairy cattle and beef cattle, with the same stock often being used for both meat and milk production. Today, the bovine industry is more specialized and most dairy cattle have been bred to produce large volumes of milk. The United States dairy herd produced 83.9 billion kg (185 billion lbs) of milk in 2007, up from 52.6 billion kg (116 billion lbs) in 1950., Yet there are more than 9 million cows on U.S. dairy farms—about 13 million fewer than there were in 1950.
Automatic milking is the milking of dairy animals, especially of dairy cattle, without human labour. Automatic milking systems (AMS), also called voluntary milking systems (VMS), were developed in the late 20th century. They have been commercially available since the early 1990s. The core of such systems that allows complete automation of the milking process is a type of agricultural robot. Automated milking is therefore also called robotic milking. Common systems rely on the use of computers and special herd management software.
The milking process is the collection of tasks specifically devoted to extracting milk from an animal (rather than the broader field of dairy animal husbandry). This process may be broken down into several sub-tasks: collecting animals before milking, routing animals into the parlour, inspection and cleaning of teats, attachment of milking equipment to teats, and often massaging the back of the udder to relieve any held back milk, extraction of milk, removal of milking equipment, routing of animals out of the parlour.
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.