The WAOB has four major areas of responsibility:
(a) Agricultural outlook and situation.
(1) Coordinate and review all crop and commodity data used to develop outlook and situation material within the Department of Agriculture.
(2) Oversee and clear for consistency of analytical assumptions and results, all estimates and analyses which significantly relate to international and domestic commodity supply and demand. This includes such estimates and analyses prepared for public distribution by the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Economic Research Service, or by any other agency or office of the Department.
(3) Participate in planning and developing research programs relating to improving the Department's forecasting and estimating capabilities.
(4) Provide liaison between the Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to assure that the futures market serves the best interest of agriculture and the public.
(5) Plan and participate in Departmental, interdepartmental, regional and international outlook conferences and briefings, to maintain an awareness of current and upcoming economic issues significant to the food and agricultural system.
(b) Interagency commodity estimates.
(1) Establish Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees to bring together estimates and analyses from supporting agencies and to develop official estimates of supply, utilization, and prices for commodities.
(2) Review for consistency of analytical assumptions and results, all proposed decisions made by the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee prior to any release outside the Department.
(c) Weather and climate.
(1) Serve as a focal point within the Department for coordination of weather, climate, and related crop monitoring activities.