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Agriculture's Big Picture


AgWeb Editor Greg Vincent takes a big-picture look at agriculture and current events.

What's USDA's Report Problem?

Oct 07, 2011

 Following the interview I did earlier this week with USDA's NASS Statistics Division Director Joe Prusacki, we spent a few minutes discussing the attitude many farmers have after recent USDA reports.

In June, the annual Planting Projections report was scrutinized after floods and poor weather wiped out crops or prevented farmers from planting altogether. The Sept. 30, Grain Stocks surprised just about everyone when corn carryover surpassed the coveted 1 bill. bu. mark. I can guarantee there will be gnashing of the teeth over next week's monthly Production report.

But Prusacki asked a very good question. "Why is it that people think we miss corn numbers, but they never have a problem with our soybean numbers?" A legitimate question, in my opinion. And I promised him I'd pose the question to the AgWeb community.

So here's the question. Fill out the survey below, or offer your comments. I'll post the survey results next week.


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COMMENTS (4 Comments)

cornman - Scott City, KS
Anybody know why the USDA has to release these reports anyway? Do they all hav e-trade accounts?
5:27 PM Oct 9th

Director Joe Prusacki may be mistaken if he thinks that we question only the corn numbers... as of late I tend to question the accuracy and reliablity of all the numbers... there seems to be no concequences to anyone other than the farmers and traders who depend so much on these numbers... at times it seems as if the USDA treats them as a weather forcast.. if we get em right... great.. but if we miss or make a mistake .. oh well we still get paid.. and can take another shot at it next month...
4:12 PM Oct 9th
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