Because of the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is not releasing its monthly report, leaving farmers in the dark when it comes to crop prices.
The October report tracks supply and demand and was set to come out Thursday.
Martinsville farmer Jeremy Bright has 5,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat in his fields, nearly ready for harvest. But before he can sell his crops, he needs to know how much to sell them for.
Bright says the October report was key to determining that price.
“This October report, they were supposed to take into consideration what they call ‘preventative planted acres’ that did not get planted, which is going to adjust our carryout number quite a bit lower than what they were expecting, which is going to help stimulate the prices,” he says.
Bright says farmers did not plant as much corn as expected in the northern and western part of the corn belt and that wasn’t taken into consideration in the USDA’s September report.
So the prices farmers are using now may not accurately reflect market value.
Several private companies produce their own reports on crop prices, but those reports can vary so farmers typically rely on the USDA as the final authority.