WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), joined by groups representing wheat, oilseed, fertilizer and cotton interests, have sent a letter to key legislators seeking funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to produce reports, including flour production, currently published by the Census Bureau.

The letter was sent to leaders from both parties of key congressional committees with oversight of agriculture including:

  • Senators Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture;
  • Senators Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Roy Blunt of Missouri, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies;
  • Representatives Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Collin Peterson of Minnesota, chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture;
  • Representatives Jack Kingston of Georgia and Sam Farr of California chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies.

The associations highlighted the value of the reports to federal agencies but also emphasized the importance of accurate commodity data in a time of heightened market volatility.

“While we recognize the challenging budgetary situation requires cuts and prioritization of government programs and services, we believe that the federal government is uniquely capable of providing the full and impartial data provided by the CIRs (Current Industrial Reports),” the groups said. “Given the extraordinary price volatility in commodity markets, these reports are important sources of reliable data used by farmers, traders, and processors. Currently companies are required by law to provide the information and mandatory compliance provides higher quality data and results in better information circulated to the public.”

NAMA, as well as several other groups, have been working for months to ensure that the reports, which have been published for decades, continue uninterrupted. NAMA has been working with private data collection services as a stopgap measure or a long-term solution in the event the effort to seek continued government collection of the data fails.