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kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

to produce some desired result? Who would be heading that conspiracy and what would be his motivation?

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8 Replies
mid-west
Frequent Contributor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

I'd say that lately they've been starting with desired/needed carryover and working their numbers backward from that. I guess you could call that manipulating?
Do you think there was a manipulation of the planted acres?
Their yield est was most likely out of line even with good weather.
Has the USDA learned anything from this? Probably not.
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Buckley_HF
Senior Contributor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

Midwest, great point about working numbers backwards. Some would call that manipulation while others wouldn't. The problem with working numbers backwards as they did this year was an extended period of low prices this spring which may not have rationed supplies the way the market should have, early enough. Will we ever know the true numbers? Of course not unless we truly run out of either corn or soya. Will the USDA start next year with 100 mil acres and 166 bu yield? I wouldn't bet my house against it...
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too close for comfort
Senior Contributor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

Why do they come out with a yield estimate in March? That number really screwed things up this year. It was just a guess at best. Even estimating planted acres is a shot in the dark at that point but with a farmer survey at least they have something to fall back on. How would the market have reacted if they had said "we are really really hoping for a 166 bu. yield"? What's worse is that it shows how far disconected the traders are that they traded as though it was already in the bin.

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Palouser
Senior Advisor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

Let's see if some bright eyes can come up with a better approach. Starting point? 

 

I thought the USDA's starting yields were ambitious to say the least. On the other hand, they may have been closer than anyone imagined on the acres - initially.

 

Safe to say - NOBODY knows the numbers at this point.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

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pritchh
Senior Contributor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

NO.

 

what makes you think so?

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timetippingpt
Honored Advisor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

Any rational statistician would agree with Pritch as I do.

 

Their statistical approach is just that statistics. It is a current best they can do system that will be modiified and improved over time as all systems are by large agency's, meaning it will be be too slow to respond to changes to ever make anyone happy.

 

It is NOT manipulated as near as I can tell, it is just the best they can do, and to be fair, the best statisticians are NOT going to work in DC for the miniscule gov paycheck when they can earn 20x that in NYC writing trading algo's.

 

Their actions in the July report were exceedingly bold in the beans if you asked me. Very likely OH/IN/KY state yields are at least 5 bu to low at this point. OF course, those states never matter which I understand, but just imagine if IA/IL had received the 5" of rain in August that many have in this area, NASS would look real bad in Sept having to raise bean yields nationally 5 bu per acre.

Pro-Farmer will find very high bean pod counts and mud on their boots in some areas tomorrow.

 

Learn the weaknesses in the NASS approach and exploit them is an excellent profit center for some folks.

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kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Re: Do you think the USDA is manipulating numbers

I don't think so pritch but we have a few conspiracy theorists that do think that way. I can't see any motivation for anyone to distort the numbers and I am not paranoid about the government or the USDA.

 

They may well be inaccurate but I doubt that it is their intent to be inaccurate.

 

Or do you think Ray J and the cargill bunch are paying them to fudge the numbers? Lol

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