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.
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.”