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USDA continuing LMR programs despite shutdown

Cold storage and cattle on feed data to be released this week.

Two U.S. Department of Agriculture programs critical to the continuity of livestock market operations will continue during the current federal government shutdown, according to National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program, managed by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is the sole source of market information on sales to packers of cattle, swine and lambs and on the subsequent sale of meat products. Inspection services provided by USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service also will continue as an essential activity, ensuring that a key element of America’s food supply -- safe, nutritious and affordable meat and poultry -- are available to consumers.

“In order to protect the value of commodities, 'Market News' will continue to operate during the federal government shutdown,” AMS stated Friday on its website.

“NPPC appreciates the leadership provided by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, undersecretary of marketing and regulatory affairs Greg Ibach and acting deputy undersecretary of food safety Carmen Rottenberg,” said NPPC president Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “Inspection and market news reporting are essential to the proper functioning of responsible commerce in the U.S. pork industry during the uncertainty of a federal government shutdown.”

Maschhoff added, “The availability of LMR market data ensures that reliable and accurate information that influence critical business decisions are available to thousands of producers and other market participants, including those in the futures market.”

Several key reports are set to be released this week by USDA, including the monthly “Cold Storage” report and “Cattle on Feed” report.

Perdue outlined Friday which USDA services would remain available during a shutdown.

“USDA is committed to safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide – and should the government shut down, we will continue to do just that," Perdue said. “I am proud of each USDA employee for everything they do to benefit the farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers who depend on our services. It is their mission each day to fulfill our USDA motto, 'Do right, and feed everyone.'”

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