WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its Crop Production - Historical Track Records report, showing that U.S. rice growers broke the overall crop-growing record last year. Rice growers produced 24.3 billion pounds of rice in 2010, surpassing the previous record of 23.2 billion pounds set in 2004.

"Tracking crop production information over time gives us an opportunity to not only see what the current trends are, but also to better forecast upcoming supply levels for all major crops," said NASS Administrator, Dr. Cynthia Clark. "These data are frequently used by various sectors of the agriculture industry, including producers, economists and policy makers in their analysis and decision making."

This is not the first time in recent years that new records were set. In 2009, the record highs for production of corn and soybeans, the nation's two predominant commodities, were broken. That year growers harvested 3.36 billion bushels of soybeans, beating the previous record by 5 percent. Not to be outshined, corn-growers broke their own record by producing 13.1 billion bushels that same year.

NASS tracks annual crop production for all major crops grown in the United States, noting record high and low years. Specifically, NASS publishes the Crop Production - Historical Track Records report each spring, dating as far back as the 1800's. The report contains historic estimates of acreage, yield, production, price, and value, as well as comparisons of preliminary and final acreage estimates for more than 20 major U.S. crops.

"What sets this report apart is that it provides an insight into agricultural history. You can truly learn to appreciate the agricultural advancements that have been made in the United States over the past 150 years when the statistical evidence is at your fingertips," added Dr. Clark.

The complete Crop Production - Historical Track Records report and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.