Source: The DairyNews



The USDA’s recent decision to discontinue the July Cattle Inventory report, a crucial publication in the livestock industry, has sparked concerns about increased volatility in cattle prices.

This move, announced by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), comes amidst budget cuts stemming from recent appropriations bills, leading to the cancellation of all county estimates for crops and livestock starting this year. Consequently, the livestock market will now have access to only one cattle inventory report annually, released in January.

Chip Nellinger, co-owner of Blue Reef Agri-Marketing, highlights the significant impact of this decision on both livestock and grain markets. The absence of crucial data on herd size and cattle weights during the middle of the year presents a significant challenge for market participants.

Arlan Suderman of StoneX Group echoes these concerns, emphasizing the added volatility resulting from the lack of comprehensive cattle inventory reports. The frustration within the industry stems from perceived misallocation of USDA resources, with critical economic data sidelined in favor of other initiatives.

The decision has garnered criticism from farm groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which anticipates heightened market unpredictability and challenges for producers in planning future supplies.

This isn’t the first time the USDA has attempted to cut the July cattle inventory report, having done so in 2016, only to reinstate it later. NCBA is now urging NASS to reconsider its decision, emphasizing the vital role of comprehensive market data in ensuring the stability and growth of the livestock industry.



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