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FY13 Budget and Related ERS Actions

TO: ERS Customers and Stakeholders

FROM: Mary Bohman, ERS Administrator

DATE: April 25, 2013

RE: FY13 Budget and Related ERS Actions*

*For more updated information, please see the FY 2014 Budget page.

The appropriations bill the President signed in March funds the Federal Government – including ERS – through the remainder of the current fiscal year. ERS’s appropriation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 is $71.391 million after total reductions of 7.8 percent from the sequestration and additional USDA-wide across-the-board rescissions contained in the final spending bill. In order to continue providing high-quality, objective research on agriculture, food, natural resources, the environment, and rural communities, ERS will focus on the areas that are most important in informing decision makers and on the topics where we have particular strengths as an intramural Federal research agency.

Perhaps you are a regular user of one or more of ERS’s outlook reports that provide market analysis and statistics on key agricultural commodities. You may anticipate our agency’s research reports on particular emerging issues. Or you may be among the many visitors to our website who seek data to help illuminate their understanding of current developments. Whatever your needs, we’d like you to know the impacts on our products for the rest of the current fiscal year.

In some cases, we can determine specific impacts that link to a scheduled report or data product. ERS will not release several commodity newsletters and data products that are listed on the Agency’s calendar. Many of these products rely on National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) products that have been suspended because of budget reductions. In addition, reductions in the ERS budget limit our ability to quickly identify whether alternative information sources or approaches can be developed in time to meet the scheduled deadlines. These commodities are dairy, aquaculture, vegetables and pulses, rice, cattle, and fruit and tree nuts. ERS has also suspended updates for other data products in order to direct staff and other resources towards higher priority products.

At the end of this letter, I have provided a list of the specific actions ERS will take regarding our reports and data products.

The reduction in ERS financial resources will affect our program beyond the scheduled outlook and data products. We are reassessing our entire program of work for the coming months, making difficult choices, and prioritizing carefully. Although ERS will continue to cover the breadth of USDA programs, we will reduce programs in some core areas, ultimately leading to fewer research reports, and less flexibility in addressing new issues. We will also continue to look for ways to operate more efficiently and continue to innovate in the delivery of our information and data products.

ERS Outlook Program
Budget Implementation: Timeline as of April 2013

Following are specific changes planned at this time for reports and data in the ERS outlook program, from April through September 2013.

Dairy Data (Monthly)
April-September: Contains no updates to data on milk cows or milk output per cow.

Monthly Milk Cost of Production (Monthly)
April-September: Will not be released until new methodology is approved. Review and clearance will require at least 90 days.

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (Monthly)
May-August: Contains no data updates or analysis on milk cows or milk output per cow.

September: Contains no data updates or analysis on milk cows or milk output per cow. Contains no data updates or analysis of U.S. cattle inventories from the suspended NASS July Cattle report.

Livestock and Meat Domestic Data (Monthly)
July-September: Contains no updates to U.S. cattle inventory data from the suspended NASS July Cattle report.

Aquaculture Data (Monthly)
May-September: Contains no updates to catfish and trout inventories, sales, prices, and processing.

Rice Outlook (Monthly)
July through September: Contains no update on U.S. rice stocks, including estimates, and market analysis becomes less reliable.

Vegetables and Pulses Outlook (Quarterly)
July and September: Reports suspended.

Vegetables and Pulses Data
July-September: Not scheduled for update at this time.

Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook (Quarterly)
July: No suspension of report as planned (data now available). September: Report suspended.

Fruit and Tree Nuts Data
July-September: Not scheduled for update at this time.

ERS Actions on Other Data Products

ERS is taking the following actions to make the best use of resources. In some cases, the information is available elsewhere.

Agricultural Productivity in the U.S.
Updates of the State-level statistics are suspended. (Quality of national statistics is preserved.)

County-Level Data Sets (“County Look-Up Tables”)
Updates of socioeconomic indicators in this format will be phased out. Most of the data is available through ERS’s Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America.

Fertilizer Imports/Exports
Updates of this data product are suspended. The underlying information is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Trade Division.

Organic Handlers: Procurement and Contracting
Updates are suspended.

Commodity Consumption by Population Characteristics
Series is discontinued. The underlying data are available from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Federal Funds
Series is discontinued. Underlying data are no longer available.

Last updated: Friday, June 13, 2014

For more information contact: Website Administrator

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