A Note to Users of USDA Baseline Projections
USDA long-term agricultural baseline projections presented in this report are a Departmental
consensus on a long-run scenario for the agricultural sector. These projections provide a starting
point for discussion of alternative outcomes for the sector.
The scenario presented in this report is not a USDA forecast about the future. Instead, it is a
conditional, long-run scenario about what would be expected to happen under a continuation of
the 2002 Farm Act and specific assumptions about external conditions. The baseline includes
short-term projections from the November 2002 World Agricultural Supply and Demand
Estimates report. Trade projections in this report for 2003/04 incorporate long-term assumptions
concerning weather, foreign trend yields, and foreign use and do not reflect short-term conditions
that may affect trade that year.
Critical long-term assumptions are made for:
- U.S. and international macroeconomic conditions;
- U.S. and foreign agricultural and trade policies;
- Growth rates of agricultural productivity in the United States and abroad; and
Changes in assumptions for any of these items can significantly affect the baseline projections,
and actual conditions that emerge will alter the outcomes.
The baseline projections analysis was conducted by interagency committees in USDA and
reflects a composite of model results and judgment-based analysis. The Economic Research
Service has the lead role in preparing the Departmental baseline report. The projections and the
report were reviewed and cleared by the Interagency Agricultural Projections Committee,
chaired by the World Agricultural Outlook Board. USDA participants in the baseline projections
analysis and review include the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Economic Research
Service, the Farm Service Agency, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Office of the Chief
Economist, the Office of Budget and Program Analysis, the Risk Management Agency, the
Agricultural Marketing Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.