USDA market reports not being prepared during shutdown

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Farmers across the country will soon start to feel the effect of the government shutdown. At the moment, no one is preparing USDA market reports for several industries.

Every Wednesday at the St. Joseph Stockyard, buyers come from as many as 11 different states to purchase stocker and feeder cattle at an auction. However, this auction was missing one very important person, the USDA market reporter. Greg Clement has worked at the stockyard for decades and says the market report service is an important part of the industry.

"It's a tremendous market here and they serve a very vital purpose getting that message out not only locally, but to feed operators out west," said Clement.

After an auction, the market reporter sorts out all the sales, notices trends and publishes that information online for farmers across the country to access.

"Those big feed lot operators want to know exactly what happened at the St. Joe stockyards, so they can make their marketing decision," said Clement.

Over the years Clement said he's learned a lot from the market reporters and said for now, he'll do his best locally to provide farmers with all the information from every auction.

"You learn how to call a trend and believe you me, no one can do it exactly like they go," said Clement.

Right now, Clement said the cattle market is good and farmers are getting good money for their cattle. However, Clement fears it the shutdown drags on, it will have a major impact on the industry.

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