Statistical information on acreage, production, stocks, prices, and income is essential for the smooth operation of Federal farm programs. It is also indispensable for planning and administering related Federal and State programs in such areas as consumer protection, conservation and environmental quality, trade, education, and recreation.Moreover, the regular updating of information helps to ensure an orderly flow of goods and services among agriculture's producing, processing, and marketing sectors. Reliable, timely, and detailed crop and livestock statistics help to maintain a stable economic climate and minimize the uncertainties and risks associated with the production, marketing, and distribution of commodities.Farmers and ranchers rely on NASS reports in making all sorts of production and marketing decisions. The reports help them decide on specific production plans, such as how much corn to plant, how many cattle to raise, and when to sell.NASS estimates and forecasts are greatly relied upon by the transportation sector, warehouse and storage companies, banks and other lending institutions, commodity traders, and food processors. Those in agribusiness who provide farmers with seeds, equipment, chemicals, and other goods and services study the reports when planning their marketing strategies.Analysts transform the statistics into projections of coming trends, interpretations of the trends' economic implications, and evaluations of alternative courses of action for producers, agribusinesses, and policy makers. These analyses multiply the usefulness of NASS statistics. The Agricultrual Statistics, 2009 edition is an annual publication that contains reliable information on agricultural production, supplies, consumption, facilities, costs, and returns. Its tables of annual data covering a wide variety of facts in forms suited to most common use.