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NGFA says NASS reports are critical to agribusiness

Association expressed significant concern over the USDA's decision to discontinue county-specific crop and livestock estimates starting in 2024.

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In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) said the county estimates for crops and livestock recently discontinued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are critical to the business operations of the grain, feed and processing industry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) NASS announced on April 9 that it would discontinue all county estimates for crops and livestock beginning with the 2024 production year.

“NGFA members use the county estimates to build supply and demand estimates for their businesses, which help determine commodity sourcing plans to keep their facilities operational. Without county estimates our members believe there will be supply chain ramifications,” noted NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert in an April 16 letter to Secretary Vilsack.

“For example, it would become more difficult for an exporter to participate in the export sales market without an accurate knowledge of how much grain is in their draw area. Also, processors and livestock feeders would have problems making appropriate purchase decisions to keep their operations continuously supplied.”

NGFA added that it would like to engage with USDA to find a solution to budgetary pressures while preserving the county estimates.

“U.S. agriculture needs county estimates for local supply chains to efficiently operate, and we are open-minded on the collection methods with the end goal of preserving the data while saving USDA funds,” the letter concluded. 

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