Market News & Headlines >> USDA to Release Long-term Projections

The USDA announced on Tuesday that it would break with long-time precedent and issue some of its 10-year long-term or “baseline” supply/demand projections for crops and livestock on Thursday morning, nearly two months earlier than normal.

The early-release tables will be posted to the Office of the Chief Economist's at . The full data and analysis will be issued on Feb. 11, 2015, ahead of the agency's annual Outlook Forum set for Feb. 19-20 in Washington D.C., USDA said. A USDA economist told Reuters News Service the release is an effort to provide more timely information to world commodity markets.  

"The projections are more timely now than when the complete report is released February 11 since the base period for the projections is based on the November WASDE," David Stallings, a senior economist and projections coordinator for USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB), said Wednesday in an email response to a Reuters query. The WAOB produces the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and also creates the long-term projections for federal budget purposes.

A release in December lessens two problems that we have had with past publications," Stallings said. "First, it would answer questions about why the projections do not have January NASS revisions, such as the Crop Production Annual, December 1 Grain Stocks, and Winter Wheat Seedings,” he said, referring to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) which compiles U.S. domestic farm statistics.

Stallings also said Thursday’s release “would lessen potential confusion between the almost simultaneous release of the complete long-term projections report (scheduled for Feb. 11) and the Feb. 20 Agricultural Outlook Forum’s short term projections.” USDA traditionally releases preliminary projections for upcoming next marketing year at the annual forum.