Terry Harris, USDA - Director
Vicki Moore, Secretary
P.O. Box 86
Thomasville, Georgia 31792
USDA-Georgia Dept of AG Market News
Georgia's Livestock Market News Service Provides Timely Statistics
Georgia livestock producers depend on accurate and timely livestock price information in order to effectively market their animals. And, when Georgia's livestock producers need accurate and unbiased market information, they look to the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Livestock Market News Service. This service, a part of the department's Animal Industry Division, provides the state's beef, goat, and swine industry with market reports on supply, demand, price, trends, movement, and other information affecting the trading of livestock and meats.
Livestock Market News reports, prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assist producers and help promote orderly marketing by providing the industry with the tools to determine where and when to buy and sell livestock, grain and their related products. Market reports assist producers in their production planning. In addition, related industries that process and distribute agricultural products make considerable use of market reports to conduct and plan business operations. Market News reports also reflect consumers preferences back through marketing channels to producers. Statistics prepared from livestock reports are utilized by all segments of the industry and used as basic data by agricultural colleges, universities, government agencies and private research organizations.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, in cooperation with state departments of agriculture, released the first report March 27, 1915, when a strawberry report was issued from Hammond, Louisiana, using Morse code at the rate of 25 words per minute. Many other reports soon followed, with the first Georgia Livestock report issued September 12, 1938, when the Southeastern Area Packers Hog Market combined the receipts from Albany, Columbus, Moultrie, Thomasville and Tifton, Ga. markets. At that time Medium and Choice Heavy Hogs, No. 1 Grade, 180-240 lbs., sold for $7.00-$7.50 per head based on off-truck weights delivered at seller's expense.
Today livestock prices, trends, and supplies are reported at 20 Georgia cattle auctions, seven slaughter hog auctions, and four goat auctions and in a daily direct slaughter hog report. In addition Livestock Market News provides assistance to producers and producer groups, vocational-agriculture schools, and universities, and it responds to other requests for information on USDA Standards and their application. These reports are then distributed via the Internet, radio stations, newspapers, and wire services to all major livestock areas of the world.
Reporters are responsible for compiling a record of transactions of a specific market or marketing area. Compiling such releases and related statistical data requires an accurate evaluation of a cross section of the trade. The reporter must include factual data on supply, demand, trade activity, price trends, and quotations by class, grade, and/or weight of the livestock. Reporters must gain and hold the confidence and respect of trade members by proving their ability to retain confidential information and establishing a reputation for fair and equitable treatment of all members of the industry. Each reporter should be able to discuss the overall livestock situation and marketing's, not only in the area of Georgia, but other markets throughout the country as well.
Georgia's Livestock Market News Service reporters evaluate hundreds of animals each day within 30 seconds or less. So, the next time you visit your local livestock market, look for someone with a clipboard writing down prices, and stop by and visit. The reporters are there to help you determine when to buy or sell your livestock.