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NGFA says NASS reports are critical to agribusiness operations

(Posted on 23/04/24)

In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) has said the county estimates for crops and livestock recently discontinued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) are critical to the business operations of the grain, feed and processing industry.

The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate facilities handling U.S. grains and oilseeds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) NASS announced on April 9 that it would discontinue all county estimates for crops and livestock beginning with the 2024 production year.

“NGFA members use the county estimates to build supply and demand estimates for their businesses, which help determine commodity sourcing plans to keep their facilities operational. Without county estimates our members believe there will be supply chain ramifications,” noted NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert in an April 16 letter to Secretary Vilsack.

“For example, it would become more difficult for an exporter to participate in the export sales market without an accurate knowledge of how much grain is in their draw area. Also, processors and livestock feeders would have problems making appropriate purchase decisions to keep their operations continuously supplied.”

NGFA added that it would like to engage with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to find a solution to budgetary pressures while preserving the county estimates.

“U.S. agriculture needs county estimates for local supply chains to efficiently operate, and we are open-minded on the collection methods with the end goal of preserving the data while saving USDA funds,” the letter concluded.

NAGFA’s membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA consists of 27 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.

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