During the government shutdown, there will be no reports issued from not only USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), but also other reports that impact the U.S. agricultural industry. Information as it pertains to 2018 U.S. crop production, grain stocks, December 1 hay stocks, monthly milk production, hay and grain exports, and other relevant data will all be shelved.
Whether you look at these reports or not, they do have an impact on markets and some in the agricultural industry use them for planning decisions. Having worked for NASS for eight years, I believe the final numbers for the season on hay acres and production that normally come out the second week of January are the most accurate. Farmers aren’t estimating production and yields because many times they have final numbers for the season when the survey is conducted in December. The 2018 final hay acres, yields, production, and December 1 hay stocks for the U.S. and West will not be available until the government shutdown ends.