Harrington's Sort & Cull

Into the Reporting Breach

By John Harrington , DTN Livestock Analyst

Welcome to Day 10 of the "Government Shutdown of 2013." Like a seasoned spelunker, your market eyes may be adjusting to the dark. Maybe the information blackout hasn't bothered you -- at least not yet.

Personally, neither I nor my claustrophobia care much for the "cave experience," be it the potential tomb made of sedimentary rock or federal furloughs.

If accurate and timely information represents the necessary food and fiber for a free market, beef and pork producers have been on famine fare since the first of the month.

Sadly, there's no sign that Market News will be turning on the lights anytime soon. The Dow exploded by 323 points Thursday on encouraging signs that House Republicans and the Obama Administration may be finally making progress on a deal to raise the debt limit through Nov. 22.

But not only does this just kick the debt-ceiling can down the short road, the "compromise" would do nothing to put "nonessential" market reporters back to work. Given the fact that many are betting that the government shutdown and the debt ceiling issue would be solved together, prospects for a return to market info normalcy may be going from bad to worse.

Needless to say, DTN is as helpless as anyone in sowing the seeds of reason along the swampy Potomac. Yet, we've been looking for ways to fill the reporting breach caused by this stupid mess.

This week we've introduced some relief for confused ranchers and feedlot managers who have been denied USDA coverage of sale barn business across the country.

Satellite customers can now find regular updates on nearly 30 auctions by going to "USDA Newswire -- Livestock." Online customer will find the same information under the tab Livestock, sub-tab Auctions.



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