Last October, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced that it would cut a number of its statistical reports in anticipation of substantial budget cuts imposed by Congress. In November, Congress voted to give NASS $6 million more than anticipated, and directed the agency to re-evaluate the reports that had been slated to be cut. NMPF wrote to Cynthia Clark, NASS’ Administrator, requesting that she restore the July Cattle report, along with the annual table containing the national breakdown of dairy farms by size.
On December 8, Dr. Clark informed NMPF that both the July Cattle report and the Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations report – which contains the dairy farm size breakdown – would be restored to NASS’ publication schedule. The Cattle report, which is also published in January, provides the only comprehensive data on dairy heifers and cows. (This is the foundation for the monthly cow estimates in the Milk Production report.)
NMPF has also been in discussions with NASS about ensuring the accuracy of its reported alfalfa hay prices.