Farmers scramble for market data with no USDA reports

Livestock and crop farmers were left scrambling to find new sources of market information last week as the government shutdown dragged into its second week with no clear end in sight.

The shutdown caused the USDA to cancel its monthly crop production and supply and de­­mand estimates that were due Oct. 11, and forced livestock traders to develop new methods for figuring cash trade prices.

"It’s insult on top of injury," said Chad Hart, Iowa State University Extension grain market economist. "If you think about what we’ve gone through this year with the late planting, the weather stresses and the uncertainty that has surrounded crop production, this just adds another...

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