USDA Reinstates Farm Reports

In a sudden about-face, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to reinstate annual farm reports. These reports were statistical snapshots of several major farming activities ranging from hops production to beekeeping.

Several months ago, the USDA’s statistical agency stated that budget constraints would force the elimination of the agency reports. Over the past year, the USDA has faced several major budget shortfalls as politicians looking to reduce the federal deficit have repeatedly slashed their federal funding.

The proposed elimination of the reports created an outcry by farmers who rely on that information. Many farmers use statistical information to govern what crops they plant, taking advantage of low supply to maximize their profits. Others use that information to negotiate crop loans and bank loans.

The fight over statistical reports is larger than individual farmers. This recent budget fight is part of a longstanding effort to defund major agricultural programs. In addition to USDA budget reductions, farmers are facing the end of many major farm subsidies and the elimination of vital conservation programs.

Together, these budget cuts seem to indicate that Congress is willing to disproportionately place supposedly shared burdens on the backs of American farmers.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer