Rep. Mann to NASS: “We Rely on this Data”

Dan Agri-Business, USDA-NASS

By fotoluminate/DepositPhotos image

A group of lawmakers is putting some weight on the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in response to NASS cutting off some important reports.

NASS cited budget restraints when it announced recently that it would stop producing several reports, including the July Cattle Report, the Cotton Objective Yield Survey, and County Estimates for Crops and Livestock reports.

U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (R-KS-01), who is also Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, is among lawmakers leading the charge to get a turnaround from NASS.

“They did not let us know in advance; They just made this announcement. As someone that grew up on a farm, I know firsthand we rely on this data. This information, producers need it,” Mann said in an interview. “There has been no good reason that USDA has given for not putting this report together, so we are pushing. We’re leaning hard on them to do what they ought to do and that’s issue these reports here in July.”


The reports provide transparent livestock, grain, and fiber market insights for American farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. These insights help them effectively manage risk, build supply and demand estimates, and determine plans for commodity sourcing to remain operational. Mann stressed the importance of these reports for ag businesses.

“It means that they are having to make very large business decisions, marketing decisions, without the information. The markets rely on this data so that markets work,” Mann continued. “Markets work and function in many ways. Good data is one of the bedrocks or the keystones to functioning, appropriate markets. And to just withdraw and prevent this information from being assembled when we know the USD has the staff, they have the people they’ve been doing it for decades, [it’s] very, very disappointing. Actually, [it’s] infuriating that this is the action that they’ve taken, which is why we are pushing back and doing everything that we can do to get them to convince them to reverse course.” Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, Representative Jim Costa (D-CA-21), and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) joined Mann in penning the letter. About another 70 lawmakers have signed on.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s program here.

Rep. Mann to NASS: “We Rely on this Data”

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.