USDA Releases API for Mandatory Livestock Reporting Data

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has released a new, publicly available web API for its Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) system, offering access to all historical LMR data, allowing users to pull large amounts of customized data sets via a RESTful interface with JSON embedded URLs and XML formatted output.

"The Livestock Mandatory Reporting program facilitates open, transparent price discovery and provides all market participants, both large and small, with comparable levels of market information for cattle, swine, sheep, beef and lamb meat," said Craig Morris, Deputy Administrator of the AMS Livestock and Seed Program. "This new web service will provide our customers with additional resources to obtain large volumes of data."

In 2001, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service implemented the Livestock Mandatory Reporting program as required by the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999, establishing a program to track information on the marketing of cattle, swine, lambs, and the products of such livestock, providing information that can be readily understood by producers to improve the price and supply reporting services of the Department of Agriculture, while also encouraging competition in the marketplace for livestock and livestock products.

A great example of APIs providing being used to manage and regulate industries while also letting markets freely operate, and encouraging competition. Imagine that, the best of both worlds.