The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that, due to reduced funding caused by sequestration, it will suspend a number of statistical surveys and reports for the remainder of the fiscal year. The suspension will apply to 10 different categories of product reporting. As a result, the monthly milk production report will be suspended from April through September.
NASS reports provide important information that is extensively used by both producers and processors in milk markets. The monthly milk production reports have helped provide transparency to the industry, and IDFA is concerned that they are being suspended.
Dairy is the only major agriculture commodity to have its reports eliminated due to the sequestration. In 2011, the NASS Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics recommended reduced report frequency, rather than elimination, as a way to respond to budget cuts.
The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act passed in 2011 mandated across-the-board spending cuts, commonly called budget sequestration, if Congress and the President failed to reach an agreement on significant deficit-reduction legislation. When the deadline for reaching an accord passed earlier this year, President Obama was forced to issue a sequestration order canceling $85 billion in federal government spending through September, the government’s fiscal year-end.
Member with questions may contact Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president and chief economist, at email@example.com.