Sequester forces USDA to suspend Milk Production report

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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.“

Click here to read more from NASS.

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.”

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Peter k    
ID  |  March, 13, 2013 at 08:12 AM

Thank goodness. The reports were based on surveys anyway. Estimations by farmers of what their production is and then we are up or down 0.5%? Yeah....

NY  |  March, 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM

No loss useless and bias gov't drivel anyways

VT  |  March, 15, 2013 at 10:01 AM

The other two okay I can live without but the Milk Production report? I guess but it does play an important role in price discovery. Just to compare reports that did make it through the cut: Weekly Peanut Prices, Sheep and Goats, Mushrooms, Honey, Egg Products - really? You can't tell me those have more of an impact than the MP report in their specific commodity industry.

north east  |  March, 16, 2013 at 02:11 PM

I surmise it has more to do with a shortage of milk and the gov not wanting to report it.

LoreN Lopes    
California  |  March, 20, 2013 at 08:47 AM

As bad as the estimations were they would eventually have to tell some truth of the production and the cow numbers. As we know production is declining along with cow numbers. So now the government has turned the lights off until October so we will really be in the dark. The dairy business is highly minipulated to say the least. Now USDA and congress wants us to drive in the dark with no head lights. The dairy policy is based on supply and demand not cost of production and now as supply contracts they won't have to explain why because they don't have numbers to play with.

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