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USDA faces criticism for canceling agricultural reports

NASS cited budget limitations when canceling its July Cattle report, the Cotton Objective Yield Survey, and all County Estimates for Crops and Livestock from 2024,

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The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced the cancellation of its July Cattle report and the discontinuation of the Cotton Objective Yield Survey and all County Estimates for Crops and Livestock starting with the 2024 production year. The decision to end these surveys and reports was attributed to budget constraints, marking a significant shift in the data available to the agricultural sector.

NASS emphasized that the decision was made after careful consideration and prioritization within its limited budget, focusing on the needs of its mission and customers. However, this move has not been well-received by industry stakeholders.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a leading industry group, has strongly criticized USDA-NASS for discontinuing these critical reports. According to NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane, these reports provide essential transparency in livestock markets, and their cancellation contradicts the agency's commitment to market transparency. Lane argues that the termination of these reports is not a significant cost-saving measure and has called on USDA-NASS to reverse its decision.

NCBA’s response underscores the reports' importance to cattle producers and others in the agricultural sector. The association contends that the lack of these reports will negatively impact their ability to make informed decisions in a market that relies heavily on accurate and timely data. This development points to a growing tension between agricultural industry needs and federal budgetary constraints, with significant implications for stakeholders across the U.S. agriculture sector.

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