USDA to start releasing reports at noon

Agency hopes new time will be better fit for industry

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its crop reports on January 11, it will be the first time they are released at noon, Eastern Time. The previous release time was at 8:30 a.m., also Eastern Time.

USDA outlook chairman Gerry Bange said with 24-hour trading, the noon time is a better fit. ”Apparently, that is a time that has fairly good so-called liquidity in the market, where a lot of people are active in trading and so forth, and it seems to be roughly within a preferred range of time that the industry would like to see,” said Bange.

Bange said that the change as a “very, very new event for us,” and that for the past 18 years, staff members have been coming in around midnight and working the night shift to prepare the reports. He said the work day will now begin around 3 or 3:30 a.m.

“The 12:00 release time is something we’ve been looking forward to for some time, and I think it’s going to make the folks around here somewhat happier, as we look forward to the future,” said Bange. “Obviously, we want our reports to serve the needs of the public.”