Today, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched Indiana’s first Market Reporting Program which will provide real-time market prices of livestock andcommodities from various live auction markets across the state. This information, published in a weekly report and available online, is intended to keep producers and agricultural businesses better informed about the value of their livestock.
“For the first time, Indiana’s producers and agribusinesses will have the tools they need to evaluate live auction market conditions, identify trends and make better purchasing decisions to retain the value of their livestock,” said Ted McKinney, ISDA Director. “This has the potential to increase profitability, possibly leading to expanded livestock operations in Indiana, which will have a trickle-down effect on the local economy.”
Prior to this information being available, producers had difficulty when trying to compare the value of their livestock against the value of livestock sold in other markets, or in neighboring states. This caused some producers in Indiana to sell their products out of state where market price data is more easily obtainable. With this information now accessible to Hoosier farmers, the Market Reporting Program will help identify any price gaps between markets, creating an added layer of competition.
“The goal of the Market Reporting Program is to help Indiana farmers make well-informed decisions when they choose a market for their products,” said State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), author of the legislation that created the Marketing Reporting Program. “I believe this program will provide information that will help our farmers and farming communities meet their pricing goals and be successful.”
Heading up the Market Reporting Program is Director Gordon Lowry, who was recently hired by ISDA and certified through USDA as a market reporter. Lowry graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and has over 40 years of experience in the livestock industry. Previously, he served as the head of procurement at Dewig Meats for Heartland Premium Aged Beef in Haubstadt, Ind. and worked as a cattle buyer for several companies including: JBS Packerland, United Producers and the Michigan Livestock Exchange.
“I’m really excited to be here and look forward to utilizing my experience in agriculture, especially my knowledge of the livestock industry, to provide producers with this valuable resource,” Lowry said.
In his role, Lowry will attend two livestock auctions (United Producers, Inc. in Vincennes and Indianapolis and Stockyards in Rockville) to record sales prices, classify animals and gather additional information about market activities. The information will be gathered weekly and published in an unbiased report, which can be found by visiting www.ams.usda.gov/market-news/