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USDA struggles with early harvest data

10/23/2012 @ 7:28am

An ever-earlier corn harvest is causing headaches for grains analysts and statisticians. At an industry conference in Chicago, analysts pepper USDA officials with questions about how they account for grain that is harvested before the start of the USDA's marketing year Sept 1.

Counting it as part of the old crop could skew reporting on the size of the following year's crop. "It's a difficult problem, and we're still working on it, and we're not happy with the end result yet," a USDA official says.

Another official adds that moving up the start of the marketing year to Aug 1 isn't feasible, as it would create the need for new reports, and an unlikely increase in the agency's budget.

(ian.berry@dowjones.com; @enberry)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2012 18:14 ET (22:14 GMT)
DJ MARKET TALK: USDA Struggles to Account for Early Corn Harvest->copyright

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