The USDA Agriculture Marketing Service has reversed its decision to stop issuing hay market reports. Earlier this year AMS targeted reports from several hay markets that affect Iowa producers, such as those at Rock Valley and Maurice as ones they would no longer provide after last week, reports the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. The proposed move was going to be made in response to budget cuts, although none of the positions working on those reports were to be eliminated.
Thanks to the response from many Iowa producers who called their members of Congress, the USDA has reversed the decision, and now will continue to issue the reports.
"Cattle producers need those reports, especially now," said Kent Pruismann of Rock Valley. Pruismann noted that the drought in the southern U.S. has driven hay prices higher than they'd normally be. Pruismann is a customer of the Rock Valley Hay Auction, which has been selling hay and straw for over 60 years.
Paul McGill, the owner/manager of Rock Valley Hay Auction, gave credit to the producers who contacted their congressmen to request that all hay markets continue to be reported. "It worked!" he said. McGill's customers come primarily from four states: Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. He provided contact information of congress members to his customers for making those phone calls.
McGill also made sure to thank those who work for USDA Market News. "We appreciate and value their hard work," he said.
The Rock Valley Hay Auction has average annual sales of 4,000 loads.