The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, or WASDE, is a crop-estimate meeting at the U.S. Department of Agriculture building in Washington, D.C.
The December meeting is Friday, when forecasts will be released beginning at 9 a.m. EST. University of Arizona agricultural economist George Frisvold said there's a reason no information is shared ahead of time.
“They kind of do the pre-announcement briefing. It’s called lockdown. The idea is if you knew what the price forecast was going to be before futures markets opened, then you could affect the trading position,” Frisvold said.
The USDA in Arizona collects information to forecast cotton and other commodity prices. They do it to predict for farmers, like those in Pinal and Yuma, what they can sell it for once it’s grown.
The monthly price report influences what a farmer decides to plant, Frisvold said.
“December is an important one because it’s kind of the outlook right before people start thinking about what kinds of crops they are going to grow in the coming year,” said Frisvold.
The USDA forecast for cotton prices is higher than it was the last two years, he said.
For the average person, the changing price of cotton won’t show up so much in the price of clothing or goods at the store, but rather in rural economies who depend on the jobs supplied by the growers, Frisvold said.