Industry At A Glance: Sources Of Market Information

With the backdrop of the recent government shutdown that has halted government price reporting, what are the sources that producers traditionally rely on for market information?

Nevil Speer

October 10, 2013

2 Min Read
Industry At A Glance: Sources Of Market Information

Timely market information is critical to the daily functioning of any and all commodity businesses – including agriculture. And agriculture is feeling the repercussions of the government shutdown. The fallout halted price-reporting services available through USDA, which possesses some important implications to the normal functioning of the market if the shutdown ends up being a lengthy one.

Meanwhile, budget cuts in recent years has also forced USDA to pare back some of its normal services. For example, USDA’s quarterly report indicating inventory of feeder cattle outside of feedlots is no longer available.

That discussion speaks to the importance of redundancy and/or alternative methods to track both supply and price of cattle, not to mention all agricultural products, within the industry. That said, the “2008 National Stocker Survey,” which was sponsored by Elanco Animal Health, Kansas State University and BEEF magazine, provides a good snapshot of how producers obtain current market information for decision-making within their respective businesses. The illustration details producer responses to the importance of various information sources.

common sources of cattle market data

Does this breakdown reflect your current perspectives on market information? What other sources might you rely when deciding how to market your cattle? How do you see market information services (both public and private) developing in the future to ensure access to reliable, consistent data? Leave your thoughts below.


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About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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