With more than 800,000 federal workers off the job as Congress wrangles over the budget, agricultural producers, traders and analysts are flying relatively blind, underscoring the amount of sensitive market data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

While federal food safety inspectors were unaffected by the shutdown – designated as “essential” in the Department’s contingency plans – USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS) are all on the sidelines until Congress passes a continuing resolution to fund the government. The latest victims are the monthly Crop Production report and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates due to be released Oct. 11.

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