Partial Government Shutdown Impacting Farmers

Sat 1-5-2019

(Des Moines)-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday it must delay the release of key crop reports due to the partial government shutdown, leaving investors and farmers without vital information during an already tumultuous time for agricultural markets. 

The USDA had planned to release the closely watched reports January 11th but said that even if the shutdown ended immediately, the agency's staff wouldn't have time to release the reports as scheduled.

Congressional leaders met with President Donald Trump Friday but there were no indications the shutdown would end anytime soon. 

The reports detail the size of the 2018 harvests of corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops and give an early estimate for what farmers will plant in the coming season. Depending on the estimates, the price of the commodities can rise or fall as the show the current supply and forecast how may acres will be devoted to different crops in the coming months. 

The government shutdown has now forced the delay of such reports for two weeks, and officials say uncertainty about the commodity supply will grow as more time elapses.

(From The Associated Press.)