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Indiana farmer, ag leader discuss USDA report after participating in “lockup”

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) goes into “lockup” before market-sensitive reports are released and Ed Ebert with the Indiana Soybean Association was there Monday.

“The lockup process is used by USDA on critical reports that are considered to be market movers,” he says. “This procedure is where they isolate the participants from their communication devices and seal off these floors at USDA between the World Ag Board and the USDA NASS group, which are the ones who compile the information and put together the reports.”

Ebert is the senior director of grain production and utilization with ISA.

He tells Brownfield some of the numbers in the crop production report surprised him.  

“The number that really jumps out at you is the planted acreage for corn at 90 million acres which was well outside of market expectations or estimates prior to the release of the report,” he says. “The average corn yield being forecasted at 169.5 bushels per acre is the fifth highest yield we’ve ever had, so that was a big surprise for folks like myself who watch this from a technical and price perspective and farmers who have a different perspective about how much planting and what kind of conditions they put their crop in this spring.”  

CJ Chalfant, an east central Indiana farmer, also participated in the lockup.

“It was pretty wild because we get to see the report and read it and then it hits the air while we’re still in “lockup” at the USDA, so it’s interesting to get out and see what it did to the markets,” he says.

He says he was surprised by the numbers.

“I’m really intrigued how they got their numbers,” he says. “Farming in east central Indiana and selling seed I don’t know how the corn number will stay where it’s how and why they think the corn yield is going to be where it’s at.”

Chalfant has been a member of the Indiana Soybean Association board for three years.

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