Shutdown spawns vacuum in farm market information
In this Oct. 1, 2013 photo, cows are herded into waiting trucks following an auction at the Oklahoma National Stockyard in Oklahoma City. Across rural America, farmers are feeling the effects of the federal government shutdown. During the shutdown, the USDA won't provide sales reports from Oklahoma livestock auctions that are used to help set prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, state Department of Agriculture employee Jack Carson said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 12:00 am
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - When Tim Peterson finished planting his 900 acres of winter wheat last week, the usually market-savvy Kansas farmer unexpectedly found himself struggling to make critical marketing decisions without being able to access to vital agricultural reports, casualties of the federal government shutdown.
"We have no clue what is going on in the market," said Peterson, who farms near Monument in northwest Kansas. He typically protects his investment in seed and fertilizer by "locking in" the price his wheat crop will fetch next July with a futures contract that shields farmers from market fluctuations by guaranteeing a price while the crop is in the ground.
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Monday, October 7, 2013 12:00 am.