Data Sources & Tools

This section provides a broad range of ag and food related data sources. The Ag & Food Data Users Guide provides more information related to finding and using data, including assessing needs and assets, and program evaluation. Refer to the Spatial Analysis & Mapping section for more specialized resources related to those needs. Search other Cornell LibGuides for additional sources of guidance in finding and using data related to ag, food and development.

New York State Data

  • Appalachian Regional Commission compiles data, creates maps, and conducts research and evaluations on key economic, demographic, and quality of life factors that affect the current and future development prospects of the Appalachian Region. The most frequently requested reports, maps, and data are available online. Includes data for Southern Tier of NYS.
  • Cornell Program on Applied Demographics, (PAD) offers a variety of resources based on demographic, social, economic and agricultural data, including maps, charts, and webinars.
    • New York Agricultural and Food System Data -includes county and sub-county profiles providing details on current conditions, trends and projections. Profiles include agricultural information on Number of farms and land in farms, Farm Operator Characteristics, Types of crop, and Estimated acreage by crop.
  • Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR) CUGIR provides geospatial data and metadata for New York State, with a special emphasis on agriculture, ecology, natural resources, and human-environment interactions. Includes Ag district, soils and demographic data. Most data requires the use of specialized GIS software (find more info on the Data Tools and Guide pages)
  • Health Statistics -Wide range of data relating to health and disease in New York State.
  • Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC) gather, plot, map and monitor New York State children’s health, education and well-being indicator data in order to improve outcomes for children and families.
  • NYS Data Center -Source of economic and demographic data, tracking the trends of NY state, its businesses and people.
  • NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
  • NYS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Clearinghouse, operated by the NYS ITS GIS Program Office, was established to disseminate information about New York's Statewide GIS Coordination Program and to provide access to the New York State GIS Data and Metadata Repository.
  • NY MarketMaker Interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in New York, providing an important link between producers and consumers.
  • NYS Open Data Portal provides an extensive index of local, state and federal data in one place. Search the site's NYS datasets, charts, maps and other resources by location or keyword, including food, NYS agriculture, or category, e.g. economic development.
  • Producer/Market Listings in Mann Library's Food System guide.
  • Statistical Yearbook (only available up to 2011) -Organized into chapters focusing on specific governmental functions or subjects, such as Business & Economic Indicators, Health & Human Services, and Agriculture. Each section includes “Highlight” information along with detailed tables. Most tables present data for the five boroughs of New York City and 57 counties outside NYC.
  • VIEW - Vital Indicators for Enhancing Well-Being in NYS. Provides practical approach to thinking about data and indicators, where to find useful data in various subject areas, how to interpret data and change over time, and how to use this information strategically for decision-making purposes, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the well-being of New York State people and communities

United States

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.
  • Business Data Resources recommended by Mann Library (Cornell users only)
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics, including diabetes and obesity
  • Community Food Projects (CFP) Database -Maintained by WhyHunger, this database profiles all of the community-based organizations and projects supported through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture since 2000.
  • Community Food Security Coalition Sources of data for Community Food Assessments (CFA). Defunct site -archived page link provided.
  • Community Profiles Offers tools for using community indicators to understand and tell stories about communities. Provides meaningful data and analysis on a wide range of topics
  • County Health Rankings County-level data, including healthy food outlets. This database ranks each county within the 50 states according to its health outcomes and the multiple health factors that determine a county’s health. The county health rankings have an indicator under the “physical environment” section called access to healthy food. Links to other national and state level data are also provided.
  • Cropland Data Layer (CDL) Crop specific digital data layers, suitable for use in geographic information systems (GIS) applications. Downloadable data sets from the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway. Interactive online CropScape mapping/query tool includes ability to analyze/extract county production acreage by year and crop, and export as spreadsheet.
  • Databib is a tool for helping people identify and locate online repositories of research data. Users and bibliographers create and curate records that describe data repositories that users can search.
  • DataFerrett -Developed and supported by the US Census Bureau, DataFerrett is a data analysis and extraction tool, allowing users to locate and repurpose federal, state, and local data to suit their requirements, including the creation of graphs or maps.
  • Economic Profile System – Human Dimensions Toolkit Made freely available by Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group, EPS-HDT is a free, easy-to-use software application that runs in Excel and produces detailed socioeconomic reports of communities, counties, states, and regions. It uses published statistics from a variety of U.S. federal data sources.
  • Feeding America Food Bank Locator Allows you to locate food banks by state and region
  • Farmers Markets Geographic Coordinates (U.S.) USDA created Excel spreadsheet containing names, addresses and latitude and longitude coordinates for Farmers Markets in US.
  • Food Policy Resource Database -from the Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF). Includes policies, how-to guides, case studies and more, as well as a directory of food policy councils (FPCs) in the U.S., Canada, and First Nations.
  • GIS Data Sources A list of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) data sources, for spatial visualization and analysis. The Spatial Analysis section of this guide offers several examples of this type of application
  • Growing Food Connections Policy Database A searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. Provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues
  • National Center for Health Statistics offers a variety of data by topic or geography.
  • Progressive Agricultural Rankings New Leaf Associates [publishers of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)], has created a tool for ag. and food system practitioners to gauge how progressive their agricultural community is.
  • SimplyMap -Create maps using consumer demographics and market research (Cornell users only).
  • SoilWeb: An Online Soil Survey Browser -Online soil survey data services from UC Davis, including phone apps. Can be used to access NRCS-NCSS 1:24,000 scale detailed soil survey data (SSURGO) in many parts of the lower 48 states.
  • US Bureau of Economic Analysis -Data such as personal income for select counties/regions available, including:
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics -Statistics such as food consumption estimates for the county/region giving a basic food budget for residents of a county/region.
  • US Census
    • American Factfinder Variety of demographic and some geographic data from the US Census.
    • Bureau County Business Patterns Provides the number of establishments, number of employees, and payroll data by industry, (according to the 2007 North American Industry Classification System) within specific ZIP codes, metropolitan areas, and counties. This can be used to track the number of food retailers within specific geographic areas.
  • USDA


  • agINFRA is a European Commission funded initiative that aims to design infrastructure facilitating the management and access to agricultural data of various types, from a variety of sources, enabling existing search tools and data collections to better connect their data.
  • AgriProfiles (formerly known as AgriVIVO) is a search portal giving access to profiles of experts and organizations in the field of agriculture, bridging across separately hosted directories and online communities. .
  • CEIC Data provides access to 1.2 million macro-economic time series and statistics from over 50 countries. The number and historical depth vary by country for the employment and labor-related series, but this is an incredibly rich database. In-depth data is available for China, India, and Russia. (Cornell Library Resource)
  • CIARD Routemap to Information Nodes and Gateways (RING) is a global directory of web-based information services and datasets for agricultural research for development (ARD)
  • Databib A tool for locating online repositories of research data
  • EIU Data Services a comprehensive database of economic indicators with historical series, estimates and forecasts, covering 278 series for 117 countries, as well as 40 regional aggregates, over the period 1980 - 2005+ (Cornell Library Resource)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) FAO has a decentralized statistical system and statistical activities (outlined here) cover the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, land and water resources and use, climate, environment, population, gender, nutrition, poverty, rural development, education and health as well as many others. The Databases and Software page lists several resources, including CLIMWAT a climatic database to be used in combination with the computer program CROPWAT, allowing the calculation of crop water requirements, irrigation supply and irrigation scheduling for various crops. Other specialized resources include:
    • Agricultural Development Assistance Mapping (ADAM), a platform that gathers information from diverse databases about agricultural development needs, objectives, in-country activities, and funding modalities, and aggregates the data to generate customizable maps, matrices and charts.
    • AGRIS a collaborative network of more than 150 institutions from 65 countries, maintained by FAO, promoting free access to agricultural information, including papers, data, statistics, and multimedia material.
    • FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries. A national version, CountrySTAT, is being developed offering a facility to store data at the national and sub-national levels, and supporting two-way data exchange between countries and FAO.
    • Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ) Data Portal has been designed to support sustainable management of natural resources for food and agriculture. It contains many features and capabilities including the ability to browse, query, visualize and download tabular and spatial datasets.
  • Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) AR4D Information Gateway provides access to resources developed and maintained by Forum stakeholders and partners.
  • Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition Though not a data source in itself, the GODAN initiative seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. It focuses on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data.
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) datasets
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compiles a variety of statistical data.
    • OECD iLibrary featuring its books, papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data.
    • OECD data portal provides tools for finding, comparing and sharing OECD data, including charts, maps, tables and related publications.
  • United Nations databases, including
    • UN Comtrade allows tracking of various commodities across the world
    • UNdata - provides access UN databases through a single entry point.
  • World Bank Research and Data -national and international statistics, analysis, and advice on global trends in the world economy.
  • World Bank Development Indicators - comprehensive database including 1,600 time series indicators for 217 economies and more than 40 country groups, with data for many indicators going back more than 50 years.

Climate Data

Market Research Guides

Cornell University Libraries offer several guides for conducting market research:

General help in using CUL resources can be found on the Mann Library Portal for Cornell Cooperative Extension

Collecting & Managing Data

Cornell Data Services links Cornell University faculty, staff and students with data management services to meet their research needs.  Cornell Data Services’s broad range of experts provide assistance for the creation and implementation of data management plans, and help researchers find specialized data management services they require at any stage of the research process, including initial exploration, data gathering, analysis and description, long term preservation and access.

Managing Data To Facilitate Your Research -Cornell LibGuide providing an overview of data management best practices and help in creating plans to manage data effectively and efficiently while meeting funder and publisher requirements.

Iowa Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG) data collection guide outlines a shared measurement system for coordinators of Regional Food Groups to collect economic data. The manual includes a sample farmer survey to report local food sales and a sample institution survey to report local food purchases, as well as instructions for coordinators to submit data

The tools section of this guide offers several useful resources for collecting and processing data