Ag Producers Missing Key Market Reports During Shutdown
Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Analysts with the Livestock Marketing Institute say the partial government shutdown has meant producers are left without some of the usual market reports they rely on while the impasse over a border wall drags on. The longer the shutdown, the more valuable data will be lost as well as key upcoming reports.
"Actual slaughter data has been among the most missed weekly market data. That data is compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) but is released by the Agricultural Marketing Service. It provides valuable information on weights, production and the number of head slaughtered," LMIC analysts explain. "The next couple of weeks hold several vital reports that could affect the tone of the entire year. For example, the annual Cattle Inventory is scheduled to be published at the end of this month. That report provides one of only two point estimates in the size of the beef herd, and the number of replacement animals producers are holding. The monthly Cattle on Feed report also is at risk. Without that type of information, cattle markets will be flying blind.
"The most extended government shutdown occurred in 1995 to 1996 and lasted three weeks," say LMIC analysts. "In the past, some data has been recovered and released at a later date. However, in cases where the data is done by survey, as with many of the USDA NASS reports, that data is usually not recoverable because the survey was not sent or collected." -- Cattle Current