For a while, I think some of the folks at USDA-NASS's Pacific Region office must have suspected they had the same guy calling in every year with questions about things like, whether the Statewide average Albarinho price was accurate or a typo. Eventually, I just made an appointment to meet with them, introduce myself and discuss methodology. I can tell you, they are a diligent and thoughtful team who do great work.
The shutdown endangered our ability to get the timely price data we rely on for planning and for indexing contracts. As far as I can tell from my attempts to reach out to my regular contacts at USDA-NASS, they're scrambling to re-orient themselves and make up for lost time today. As of now, it seems that they are debating adjustments to timelines and maybe even foregoing the Preliminary Crush Report. They hope to have a more clear picture later in the week.
Let me just say, regardless of politics:
I, and many of my colleagues and clients, rely on the USDA-NASS for their industry-standard pricing data. Their work is important.
It is not good for business that their work is disrupted.
It is not at all good for me that their work is disrupted.
Regardless of my own situation, no one should be compelled to work without pay, ever. I feel for every federal worker who was, but especially for the folks putting together the data at the center of my career.
To the USDA-NASS workforce: Thank you for your daily diligence and thank you, especially, for your nose-to-the-grindstone return to work. I appreciate your work and need your output. Your work helps my clients make better business decisions.