December 19, 2012
FAQ: Earlier this year I heard USDA was changing the time it will release its important monthly Crop Reports and also its monthly World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates. Why change the time of release and what reports will be affected?
NEW TIMES: USDA will change the release time of several key statistical reports it issues, such as Crop Production, Grain Stocks, World Ag Supply
Answer: USDA has announced that its National Agricultural Statistics Service and its World Agricultural Outlook Board will begin issuing several major USDA statistical reports at 12:00 p.m. (noon Eastern Time) beginning in January 2013. The current USDA release time of 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) will remain in effect until January 1, 2013. USDA statistical reports affected are: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, Acreage, Crop Production, Grain Stocks, Prospective Plantings, and Small Grains Summary. The time for livestock reports currently released at 3:00 p.m. will not change.
Between June 8 and July 9, 2012, USDA sought public comment on the release times for several major statistical reports in response to changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges. Stakeholders submitted 147 comments through the NASS online response site and via letter and email. The comments received may be viewed on the NASS website at www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2012/Public_Comments_Release_Times.pdf.
"USDA considered all comments and thanks everyone for their thoughtful suggestions," says USDA Chief Economist Joseph W. Glauber. "The shift to a noon release allows for the greatest liquidity in the markets, provides the greatest access to the reports during working hours in the United States, and continues equal access to data among all parties."
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Statistical Policy Directives 3 and 4, rules are in place to regulate the public's access to federally generated statistics. The 2012 official published schedule for all NASS reports is available online at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/index.asp. The World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) report schedule is available at www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde.
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