The USDA has suspended several livestock reports in the wake of automatic federal budget cuts. This includes reports the monthly Milk Production report and annual Milk Production, Disposition and Income report that would have been released in late April.
According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, these dairy-specific reports are just a fraction of the surveys and reports that will be suspended through the end of the government’s fiscal year in September. Click here to read the full list of suspended surveys and reports from NASS.
“Before deciding upon the program suspensions, NASS reviewed its survey programs against mission and user-based criteria as well as the amount of time remaining in the fiscal year to conduct the surveys with the goal of finding available cost savings and maintaining the strongest data in service to agriculture. The decision to suspend these reports was not made lightly, but it was nevertheless necessary, given the funding situation,” a NASS news release explained.
Dave Kurzawski, of FC Stone/Downes-O’Neill in Chicago, confirmed that the suspensions will begin with the March Milk Production report that was previously scheduled to be released on April 19. However, the February Milk Production report will be released as scheduled on March 19.
“Should the reports be scheduled for release starting next fiscal year, we believe the first report would be for the month of October to be released in mid-November,” Kurzawski said. “The cuts will also include the July Cattle report which contains total milk cow numbers as well as milk replacement heifers.“
Many have worried about the aftermath of these sequester cuts for months. In late-February the CME Group warned that some livestock and dairy contract could be affected, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack fueled public concerns after announcing that the food inspectors could be laid off in response to these cuts, and consumers may experience “spotty shortages of meat.” Others have pointed that the government would not – and did not – fall apart of the “sequester day of reckoning.”