USDA suspends livestock, ag reports on sequester cuts

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The USDA has suspended several livestock reports, including the July Cattle report, in the wake of automatic federal budget cuts.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), this report is 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,” an NASS news release explained.

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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Ohio  |  March, 12, 2013 at 03:38 PM

This admin will make cuts with a political mindset to get country to yell at Republicans. I am not a Republican but this is how this admin does things.

March, 12, 2013 at 04:58 PM

so now they can fire the people who do the reporting since they no long make reports??

Texas  |  March, 12, 2013 at 04:11 PM

I never would have guessed these alarmist fools would panic and shut down their own propaganda mill. I am loving this sequestration more and more by the day. Too bad we didn't sequester these idiots for 20% instead of 2.5% of their budgets. So far I am pleasantly surprised. When the pink slips roll out to the USDA deadwood I will celebrate with a big 'ol steak. On a Monday.

Virginia  |  March, 13, 2013 at 08:09 AM

Better still, eliminate NASS with its pesty mail and phone calls. Private enterprise will fill in any needed information, since ConAgra and options-trading firms need that information so will estimate it anyway Eventually, even without livestock information, the Invisible Hand of Adam Smith will converge on correct prices. Moreover, with production contracts, we don't need information like cattle inventory and slaughter reports.

Illinois  |  March, 13, 2013 at 08:40 AM

But how will commodities speculators know when to stampede and trample each other without regular USDA report irregularities to keep them whipped into a frenzy? It will be so boring without USDA statistics to lampoon. Oh, and the official revisions to correct previous quarter's panic inducing official statistics faux-pas...won't we miss all the drama spawned by those? Maybe Vilsack was right after all -- losing these entertaining reports into the black hole of sequestration will probably cause all of us to die from boredom. Call me crazy but I'm willing to risk it.

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