USDA Economist Says January Reports Will Be Released At Some Point


By Anna-Lisa Laca, Farm Journal's Milk, Online and Business Editor

via AgWeb - Jan 3, 2019


The Government Shutdown has USDA reports delayed. However, Chief Economist Robert Johansson assures farmers and traders alike that they will be released at some point.


“Right now, the analysis is stopped because of the lapse in funding,” Johansson told AgriTalk host Chip Flory. “If we get our funding started up here again, in the next day or two we’ll be able to jump right in, and we should have enough time to get those up by the 11th. But the longer this furlough lasts more difficult it is because it does take a little bit of time to put those reports together.”


Johansson said USDA economists will decide by Friday if the January 11 reports will be on time or delayed. Discussions about delayed reports had traders concerned this government shutdown would reflect 2013 where the USDA report data never materialized.


“If you remember back then in 2013, a lot of that was during current active production. So, we had a lot of NASS crop samples that were being sent in to St. Louis that ended up getting stuck in the mail room and sort of rotting away in its packages,” he explained. “So, we weren't able to make a determination on the crop yield for a number of those commodities, which is why we lost that report. We have the numbers this time, it's just a matter of when we can get them compiled and put out.”


According to Johansson, his office has been in close discussion with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and will follow their lead on timing of the reports...