With the arrival of the internet, the Agriculture Department made its vast library of reports and analyses available to the public, from the closely watched monthly crop estimates to assessments of the impact of the pandemic on meatpackers. The USDA went a step further on Wednesday by presenting the first live internet broadcast of one of the briefings USDA analysts give the agriculture secretary whenever a major report is published.
While still a small sector of U.S. agriculture, organic agriculture is booming, reported the USDA on Thursday. Sales totaled $9.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 31 percent in three years, and 29 percent of organic farmers say they plan to expand production. There are more farms and more land in organic production — 16,585 farms and 5.5 million certified acres — than ever before.
The USDA traditionally shuts down its weekly Crop Progress report at the end of November because the growing season is over and the fall harvest is all but complete in most states. But this year, the USDA will continue to monitor the harvest, which is weeks later than usual, into December.
For the second time in three years, USDA has suspended the mid-year Cattle inventory report, issued in July, and cited the same reason – budget constraints – as in 2013. “The decision to suspend this report was not made lightly, but was necessary, given our available fiscal and program …
The Agriculture Department plans to begin monthly reports in September or October on soybean crush, corn mill grind and cotton mill use, a senior official told reporters on Monday.