Market Information Systems for the IFAS VAX Computer Network

Material Information

Market Information Systems for the IFAS VAX Computer Network user manual and help guide, version 2
Series Title:
Circular ;
VanSickle, John
Stevens, Tom
Place of Publication:
Gainesville Fla
Gainesville, Fla
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
i, 21 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Farm produce -- Marketing -- Information services -- Florida ( lcsh )
City of Orlando ( local )
City of Madison ( local )
Vegetables ( jstor )
Livestock ( jstor )
Commodities ( jstor )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Florida Cooperative Extension Service circular 839
General Note:
"Printed 3/93"--P. 22.
General Note:
At head of title: Florida Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin.
Statement of Responsibility:
by John VanSickle and Tom Stevens.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
29019457 ( OCLC )


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text

Circular 839

Florida Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin

User Manual and Help Guide:
Version 2

John VanSickle
Tom Stevens





INTRODUCTION ............................ 2



Starting the Program... ..... ........... ........ 4
The Status Page ............... ....... ......... 4
The Data-Base and Main Menu .................... 6
Making a Selection ......... .... .. ...... .. .. 6
Viewing Reports .. .. .. . . . . . . . .. . 7
Exiting the Program . ....... ............... 7


The Fruits & Vegetables Data-Base. . . . . ... .. . . 7
Retrieving Fruit & Vegetable Reports by Location . . . . 9
Retrieving Fruit & Vegetable Reports by Commodity. . . ... 11
The Livestock Sub-menu ........ ............ .12
The Grain Sub-menu .......... ... .... ... ... 14
The Poultry Sub-menu ........................ 15
The Dairy Sub-menu. .. ..................... 15
Cotton and Tobacco ... ..... .............. 16
Futures M markets . . . . . . . . . . . . ... .16
Crop and Livestock Reporting Service Reports . . . . . .. 17

UTILITIES. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 17

Expert M ode . .. .. . .. .. . .. . . . . . 17
Help . ...... . . . . . . .... . . . . . 18
Auto-Retrieve ................. ..... .... .19

CONCLUSIONS....... ..... ............. .. . .19



Fi 9


A Users Manual and Help Guide: Version 2


Funds and resources for the development and operation of the IFAS Market Information
System program were provided by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
(IFAS) of the University of Florida.

The Project Director for Market Information Systems is Dr. John VanSickle,
Associate Professor of Food and Resource Economics, IFAS. Programming, data-base design,
and general maintenance is by Thomas J. Stevens, Research Associate in Food and Resource

We would like to acknowledge the support of the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS) in developing this program. We would also. like to thank the management and
staff of the IFAS Computer Network for their technical assistance in this project.


The IFAS Market Information Systems program (MIS) was designed to promote the timely
distribution of current agricultural commodity information to extension and research personnel
in IFAS, and thus the agricultural industry of Florida. Various divisions of the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services are involved in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of agriculturally related
market information. The basic characteristics of supply and demand in many agricultural
markets are such that prices are often volatile and dispersed. Therefore the rapid and
widespread distribution of current market news is needed for price stabilization and for
providing unrestricted access to information by all market agents. Through the use of modern
computer and communications technology, the ease, speed, and flexibility in disseminating
agricultural market information can be significantly improved. The purpose of this publication
is to provide a reference source that will aid in the utilization of the agricultural market
information available on the University of Florida IFAS VAX Computer Network.

The IFAS Market Information Systems program is still in a developmental phase. The
data-bases for each category of agricultural commodities are in various stages of refinement.
The original focus of this project was primarily on fruits and vegetables. Consequently,
data-base features are currently most extensive for these commodities. All commodity
category features are being expanded and refined continuously. Interest in and support for
extending information resources and/or data-base capabilities should be expressed to the


The MIS program is primarily a menu driven, file-management data-base. A series of
menus (figure 1) are available from which users can retrieve specific market information based
on category, report type, geographic location, commodity, and/or report date.

The predominant source of market information for this data-base is the USDA
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). AMS has over 130 market news field offices located
across the United States that collect current agricultural market data daily. Many of these
offices are operated cooperatively with various state agricultural agencies. Data collected by
AMS and cooperating agencies include prices, volumes, movements, qualities, and strength of
market indicators (market tones) for over 200 different commodities in spot, direct or futures
markets. Once collected, these data are compiled into market news reports which are then
transmitted over the AMS communications network. The total informational output of this
network often exceeds 1 million characters per day.

IFAS is a private subscriber to the AMS communications network. Electronic access is
obtained through a dedicated leased line "drop". All public reports transmitted over the AMS
network are stored on the Gainesville IFAS VAX computer. The VAX processes the information
into a data-base format. This data-base allows users to easily retrieve specific market
information by commodity category, type of market, specific commodity, and geographic










Main Menu
1. Fruits & Vegetables
S2. Livestock
3 Grain
S4. Poultry
5. Dairy w
6. Tobacco
7 Cotton
8. Futures
9. Crops S;

Fruits & Vegetables
iTermlnal Market Fruits WASHINGTON
Terminal Market Veg SUMMARY
Arrivals REPORTS
FOB Ship Dt FruttS
SFOB ship. pt. Veg
MIS computerreports

Individual AMS market news reports are identified by the MIS database using AMS
market report identifiers or "slug" lines, e.g., WP FV120. The slug line is always the first
line in any AMS report and contains a two letter city code, followed by a two letter
commodity group code, and then a 3 digit report number code. Each of the 130 field offices
has its own 2 letter identification code which is usually alphabetically associated, e.g., WP for
WinterPark, Florida and TV for Thomasville, Georgia. There are currently 9 commodity/report
group codes in use. These are; FV for fruits and vegetables, LS for livestock, GR for Grains,
PY for Poultry, DA for Dairy, TB for tobacco, CN for Cotton, MC for crop reports, and CB
for statistical reports. Most AMS reports are categorized systematically by their report number
according to the type and specific content of the report. These report number systems will
be elaborated in following sections.

Another source of information for the IFAS VAX MIS is the Florida Crop and Livestock
Reporting Service in Orlando, Florida. They currently provide MIS with Summary Crop and
Weather reports for the state on a weekly or monthly basis. These reports contain current
information on production activities and conditions of several economically important crops in
Florida. Users may access these reports within minutes of their release time instead of
waiting from 24 to 72 hours for typical 3rd class mail delivery.


There is a necessary but minimal amount of basic computer knowledge required to access
and use the Market Information Systems program. Most users will need to "call in" to the
IFAS VAX computer with the use of a modem and a computer terminal over existing telephone
lines. If you are not familiar with this process or the use of the IFAS VAX computers you
can call or write the IFAS Computer Headquarters. They have personnel and users manuals to
help with this process. Their address is:

IFAS Computer Network Office
Building 120, Room 205
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611
phone: 904-392-5180, suncom: 622-5180

Starting the Program:

Having successfully signed into your account on the IFAS VAX computer you should have
the "$" prompt somewhere on the left side of your computer or terminal screen. The MIS
program is accessed by typing the word "MARKET" at the "$" prompt and then pressing the
return key. As a convention in this manual, the process of pressing the return key will be
designated by [RETURN].

The Status Page

The first information you will see after starting the program are the credits followed by
a status page (figure 2). The status page will display current information concerning the
condition of Market News communications links, the IFAS VAX computer, and the MIS
data-base. The proper performance of this program is dependent on the performance of
several other computer communications systems in addition to the IFAS VAX network. None
of these systems are immune to technical difficulties. To save time and avoid unnecessary
frustration we recommend that you read the status page when you access the program.

Figure 2. Status Page

LAST UPDATE WAS ON ll-Jan-89 AT 11:25 AM

!!!!! NOTICE !!!!
Jan. 10, 1989
AMS Market News Fruit and Vegetable report files are now being purged
at approximately 6:30 am., instead of 12:00 noon each weekday. This
change was made to reduce CPU usage during prime hours. If you are
utilizing the Auto-Retrieve facility during the morning hours you may
need to "re-do" your file. As before you can retrieve yesterdays reports
by mathematically adding 100 to F&V sub-menu listing numbers.

If you have any comments or problems with this data base please contact
Dr. John VanSickle or Tom Stevens at 904-392-2297, or send VAX mail to
the "MARKETING" account.

Enter "Y" and press for screen paging, or just press ?

The first line of the status page will indicate the time and date of the last update or if
an update is in progress. If an update is currently in progress you may not be able to access
some files. When this happens try retrieving the reports 2 to 5 minutes later. The program
should be finished updating by then. Updates for the AMS portion of the MIS data-base are
currently scheduled to take place approximately every two hours between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00
p.m., week days. Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service reports are usually available
within 30 minutes of their release time.

To continue past the status page you must make a selection concerning screen paging.
Screen paging will suspend the output of reports to your terminal after each new page has
been displayed. You will then be prompted to manually resume report output by pressing
[RETURN]. You may find this convenient when reading reports directly from your terminal.
You may select the screen paging option by entering the letter "Y" or "y" at the prompt and
pressing [RETURN]. If you do not want paging, only press [RETURN] to continue. After
making this choice the Market Information Systems Main Menu will scroll onto your screen
(figure 3). A more detailed discussion of screen paging and other output controls is provided
in a special section below.

Figure 3. Main Menu

Courtesy of IFAS, USDA-AMS Market News, & USDA Crop & Livestock Report. Serv.

1. Fruits and Vegetables
2. Livestock
3. Grain
4. Poultry
5. Dairy
6. Tobacco
7. Cotton
8. Futures Markets
9. Crop & Weather Summaries

10. Expert mode UTILITIES 12. Create "Auto-Retrieve" file
11. Help Menu 13. Run "Auto-Retrieve" file

Enter the selection number of your choice. Enter "99" to exit. ? 2

The Data-Base and Main Menu

Most AMS reports fall into nine different commodity/report categories. These are: Fruits
& Vegetables, Livestock, Grains, Poultry, Dairy, Tobacco, Cotton, Futures Markets, and Crops.
The MIS Main Menu contains selections based on these nine different groups. Items numbered
1 through 9 in this menu will call sub-menus or listing for these different commodity groups
or report types. Selections number 10 through 13 are MIS Utilities. Item 10 is the Expert
mode which allows you to retrieve reports interactively without using menus. Item 11 calls a
help menu which provides selective access to this manual while using MIS. Items 12 and 13
are "Auto-Retrieve" utilities which allow you to select a set of files from anywhere in the
data-base and have them all retrieved by only entering one main menu selection. Detailed
instructions on the use of all selections in the Main Menu are provided in the sections that

Making a Selection

All menus within the MIS program have a 1 to 3 line prompt at the bottom of the screen
with brief instructions on entering selections. All selections are made by entering no more
than 3 characters, usually numeric, followed by a [RETURN]. If you realize you have made an
error in your entry before pressing [RETURN], you can use the delete key to erase the entry
and then retype the correct entry. You cannot use cursor keys for this or any other purpose
within the program. If you enter an inappropriate number or letter you will get an error
message to that effect and you will be prompted to try again.

Viewing Reports

There are several features that are useful in controlling the output of reports to your
terminal once you make a selection. The screen paging option discussed in the above "Status
Page" section is one of these features. The screen paging option will output one page (23
lines) of report data to your terminal, halt output, and then prompt you to press [RETURN] in
order to view the next page. This is useful when you are reading or transcribing reports
directly from your screen. An alternative to the paging option which is available on most
terminals is using the "Flow Control" keys. Output of reports or any other data transmissions
from many remote computers can be temporarily suspended by pressing Control-S (pressing the
"CTRL" key and the "S" key simultaneously). You can then resume data output by pressing
Control-Q. Some computer communications packages may "map" these flow control key
combinations to other special keys on your keyboard. Check your users manual.

Sub-menu selections will typically retrieve multiple reports of a specific type or for a
given reporting office. Except for fruit and vegetable sub-menu selections it is possible to
jump to the next report in a listing by pressing the space bar. Since reports are retrieved in
numerical order according to their identification or slug line you may use the space bar to
move through a long listing of numerous reports until you reach a report of particular

When you come to the end of a report or file you are viewing, the menu you selected
the report from will automatically come back on the screen. You can return to the menu
before completely viewing a report or file by pressing the Control-C key combination at any
point within a report listing. The menu from which you selected the report will then return
to the screen. If you desire to return to the MIS main menu from any of the sub-menus, you
can do so by entering the number "0" and then [RETURN] or by pressing Control-C.

Exiting the Market Information Systems program

You can exit the MIS program from any menu by typing the number "99" followed by
[RETURN]. An instruction to this effect will always be found in the last two lines of each


The Fruits & Vegetables Data-Base

Selecting item number 1 in the main menu will call the Fruit and Vegetable report type
sub-menu. There are 5 basic types of reports for the fruits and vegetables (F & V) category.
These consist of:

1 Terminal Market Reports. Terminal market reports contain price data for terminal or
farmers' markets in relevant locations. These are considered to be wholesale prices and most
markets are located in major metropolitan areas.

2 Terminal Market Arrivals. Arrival reports contain information or volumes of fruits and
vegetables that have been received at individual terminal markets or major distribution

3 FOB Shipping Point Prices. These reports quote prices paid to shippers in the major
production areas.

4 Shipment Reports. Shipment reports consist of compiled data on types, quantities, and
origins of produce that have moved out of monitored areas.

5 Trend Reports. Trend reports are weekly summaries of prices, volume movement, and
general market conditions in the respective producing areas for each crop.

These five report types can be selected from the Fruit and Vegetable (F & V) sub-menu
as items numbered 1 through 7 (figure 4). Details on these selections are discussed in the
next section. Due to the large number of Market and FOB shipping point reports that may
originate from individual field offices, these report types have been sub-divided into individual
selections, one for fruit and the other for vegetables.

Figure 4. Fruit and Vegetable Sub-Menu



AMS Field Office Reports Washington Summary Reports

(C) 1. Terminal Market-Fruit 11. FOBSP Recaps.
(C) 2. Terminal Market-Vegetables 12. Total Arrivals in 22 Cities
3. Arrivals 13. National Shipping Point Trends
(C) 4. FOB Ship. Pt. Fruit & Nuts 14. National Rail and Boat Shipments
(C) 5. FOB Ship. Pt. Vegetables 15. Recap of Truck Shipments
6. Trends (weekly) 16. F & V Truck Rate Report
7. Shipments 17. Export Briefs
8. Ornamentals 18. Ornamental Shipments & Imports
9. M.I.S. Watermelon Report 19. Shippers Weather Forecast
10. 20. Monthly Honey Market Report

To retrieve reports by location enter the number of your choice. To retrieve
reports by commodity precede indicated #s with a "C". Enter "99" to exit. ? 2

The AMS F & V branch also publishes ornamental plant and cut flower reports. Menu
item number 8 will select this sub-category. Item numbers 9 and 10 in the F & V sub-menu
are reserved for MIS computer generated special reports. For example, during the watermelon
season item number 9 will contain consolidated shipping point and terminal market information
exclusively for watermelons.

The AMS F & V office in Washington, D.C. produces a variety of reports that recap,
summarize, and consolidate many daily field office reports. F & V menu items number 11
through 20 have been provided for retrieving these reports.

F & V report types can be identified by the report number contained in the slug line or
first line of any AMS report. F & V reports are numbered according to the following scheme.

FV 001-009 Farmers' Market Report
FV 010-019 Terminal Market Fruit
FV 020-029 Terminal Market Vegetables
FV 030-039 Terminal Market Onions & Potatoes
FV 040-049 Terminal Market Nuts
FV 055 Terminal Market Miscellaneous Herbs
FV 070-079 Terminal Market Arrival Reports
FV 110-119 FOB Shipping Point Fruits
FV 120-129 FOB Shipping Point Vegetables
FV 130-139 FOB Shipping Point Onions & Pot.
FV 140-149 FOB Shipping Point Nuts
FV 150-159 FOB Trend Reports
FV 170-179 Shipment Reports
FV 200-280 Ornamental Reports (all types)

Retrieving Fruit and Vegetable Reports by Location.

There are fifty-three AMS reporting offices for fruits and vegetables. Reports from
thirty-two of the most relevant locations are accessible from the menu system for retrieval.
Each F & V reporting office does not publish all types of reports and many types of reports
are only published seasonally. Consequently, an availability scheme has been created for use
with a common location sub-menu for F & V menu items numbered I through 8 (figure 4).

By entering one of these F & V menu numbers and pressing [RETURN], a location
sub-menu (figure 5) will scroll onto your screen. The report type you have selected will be
indicated on the fifth line of this menu. Each reporting station has a selection number to its
left. Preceding each number is an area enclosed in parentheses that is used to indicate
which, if any, reports are available for that particular station. The data-base will maintain a
maximum of three of the most recent reports for each location. There are three spaces
within these parentheses corresponding to the three reports. An available report is indicated
with an asterisk (*), while blanks indicate that a report is not available. The left hand space
will indicate the existence of a report issued only within the current work day. The "day" for
the MIS data-base begins at approximately 6:00 a.m. This is the point-in-time that MIS
changes time stamps for existing F & V reports from today to yesterday. The middle space
within each parentheses will indicate the existence of a report issued the previous work day.
The right hand space will indicate the existence of the next previous report. This is not
necessarily the previous day. It may represent the previous or last weekly report or the last
report for a season. The most typical combinations of availability codes are: "(***)" indicating
that the data-base contains reports published for the current workday, the previous workday,
and the next previously published report; "(_**)" indicating that no report has yet been issued
for the current workday but the previous workday's report is available as well as the next
previous report; "(_*) indicates that neither the current nor the previous workday reports are
available, but some other previous report is available; "( )" indicating that no reports for
the report type you selected are available for that particular location.

Figure 5. Location Sub-menu for Fruits & Vegetables



Location sub-menu for Fed-State Market News Fruit & Vegetable Reports
REPORT TYPE = Terminal Market Veg.

1. Atlanta GA
2. Austin TX
3. Bakersfld CA
4. Baltimore MD
5. Boston MA
6. Buffalo NY
7. Chicago IL
8. Cincinnati OH
9. Columbia SC
10. Dallas TX
11. Denver CO
12. Detroit MI
13. El Centro CA
14. Fresno CA

( )
( )
( )
( )
( )

15. Idaho Falls. ID
16. Indianapolis IN
17. Los Angeles CA
18. Miami FL
19. Montreal CAN
20. New Orleans LA
21. New York NY
22. Nogales AZ
23. Pittsburg PA
24. Philadelphia PA
25. Phoenix AR
26. Pompano Beach FL
27. Raleigh NC
28. Salinas CA

(***) 29. San Francisco CA
(***) 30. ST. Louis MO
( ) 31. Thomasville GA
( ) 32. Weslaco TX
( ) 33. Winterpark FL
( ) 34. Yakima WA

(* ) = Current report
( ) = Previous report
( *) = Next previous

Enter number for desired report location. For previous update file enter
number plus 100 or 200, eg. enter 111 for previous update of Denver report.
Enter a zero, (0) to return to Main Menu, or (99) to exit. ?

You may retrieve a current available report by entering the number next to the location
name and then pressing [RETURN]. You may select a noncurrent report by mathematically
adding 100 or 200 to the associated location number, entering that number and then pressing
[RETURN]. For example, the current terminal market report for vegetables from New York
City can be viewed by entering the number "21" followed by a [RETURN]. By entering the
number "121" (100 + 21) then [RETURN], you can view the previous workday's report from
New York. Finally, if you want to view the next previous New York City report (the oldest
available), you would enter the number "221" (200 + 21) then [RETURN]. If you accidentally
enter a choice for which a report does not exist the sub-menu will re-scroll onto the screen
and you can try again. If you enter a character or combination of characters which does not
apply to the menu, the program will display the error message "Invalid entry, try again".

( )
( )
( )
( )

Retrieving Fruit and Vegetable Reports by Commodity.

Report types 1, 2, 4, and 5 in the F & V menu have the letter "C" in parentheses just to
their left (figure 4). This indicates that you can retrieve these report types (Terminal Market
and FOB Shipping Point) by specific commodity. You may select this option from the main
menu by typing the letter "C" followed immediately by any of the four numbers, then
[RETURN]. For example, entering a "C4" or a "C5" will call up the F & V Commodity
Sub-Menu for FOB shipping point price reports (figure 6). Note that it does not matter
whether you enter a "C4" or a "C5", since both fruits and vegetables commodity listings are
available on the same sub-menu. Again, the report type you have selected will be indicated
on the fifth line of this menu.

Figure 6. Commodity Sub-menu for Fruits & Vegetables



Terminal Market VEGETABLES Terminal Market FRUITS

1. Artchoke 15. Cucumber 29. Peas 43. Apple 57. Oranges
2. Aspargus 16. Eggplant 30. Peppers 44. Apricot 58. Papaya
3. Beans 17. Endive 31. Potatoes 45. Avacado 59. Peach
4. Beets 18. Escarole 32. Radish 46. Banana 60. Pears
5. Bok Choy 19. Garlic 33. Red Leaf 47. Blu Berr 61. Pineappl
6. Broccoli 20. Greens 34. Rutabaga 48. Cantalop 62. Plantain
7. Brus Spt 21. Leeks 35. Spinach 49. Cherries 63. Plums
8. Cabbage 22. Lettuce 36. Squash 50. Grp/Grpf 64. Strabry
9. Carrots 23. Mints 37. Swt Pota 51. Hny Dew 65. Tnglo/ri
10. Cauliflwr 24. Mushroom 38. Tomatoes 52. Kiwi Ft 66. Temple
11. Celery 25. Mustard 39. Turnips 53. Lemons 67. Waterml
12. C Tomatoe 26. Okra 40. Misc Veg 54. Limes 68. Misc Frt
13. Chin Cabb 27. Onions 55. Mango
14. Corn 28. Prsl/Prsn 56. Nectarin
Enter number for desired commodity. For previous update file enter the
number plus 100 or 200, eg. Enter 103 for previous update of BEANS file.
Enter a zero, (0) To return to Main Menu, or (99) to Exit ?

Commodities in this sub-menu are separated into vegetables on the left and fruits on the
right. You may select a particular commodity by entering the number next to that commodity
and then [RETURN]. Previous time period reports may be selected in the same manner as for
the location sub-menu, i.e., you could enter 108 for the previous days reports on cabbage, or
208 for the oldest reports on cabbage. Unlike the location menu, the oldest commodity
reports will never be more than 3 working days old.

The Livestock Sub-menu

Selecting item number 2 from the main menu accesses the sub-menu for the Livestock
data-base (figure 7).

Figure 7. Livestock Sub-menu


Sub-Menu for FED-STATE Market News Livestock Reports, local & national

> Local & national reports from < > National & regional <
> 20 selected reporting stations < > summary reports <

1. Amarillo Tx 11. Omaha Neb 21. National Slaughter Summary
2. Baton Rouge La 12. Orlando Fl 22. Daily Livestock Slaughter
3. Columbia SC 13. San Angelo Tx 23. Weekly Livestock Slaughter
4. Des Moines Ia 14. San Antonio Tx 24. Eastern Direct Hog Sales
5. Edison NJ 15. Sealy Tx 25. Cattle on Feed
6. Jackson Ms 16. Sioux City Ia 26. Feeder Cattle/Calf Summary
7. Little Rock Ar 17. ST. Joe Mo 27. Feeder Pig Summary
8. Montgomery Al 18. ST. Paul Mn 28. S.E. Feeder Cattle Summary
9. Nashville Tn 19. Thomasville Ga 29. Morn. Farm Price Roundup
10. Oklahoma C. Ok 20. Washington D.C. 30. Carlot Meat Trade

? 0

AMS has over forty livestock reporting offices across the nation that collect and
disseminate market information, primarily for beef cattle, swine, sheep and associated meat
markets. Coverage of auction markets has been expanded in recent years through cooperation
with various State Departments of Agriculture. AMS now reports on over 400 livestock
auctions in 23 states. They also have reports on direct trade in 26 major direct trading areas.
Currently, only 20 livestock reporting stations (selections 1 through 20), and 10 national
summary report types (selections 21 through 30) have been data-based. These reports are
considered to be the most relevant to the Florida livestock industry. Unlike the Fruit and
Vegetable data-base, only the most current reports are available for each location or report
type in the livestock data-base.

Most selections within this sub-menu contain multiple reports. All current reports that
apply to each selection item are retrieved in a numerical order which is determined by the
report's identifier or "slug" line. The slug line is the first line in each report. It consists of
a two letter location prefix followed by a space, then a two letter commodity category code
(for livestock this is "LS"). The commodity code is followed immediately by a three digit
report number. For example, the Orlando weekly livestock auction summary report has the
slug line, ORLS145. It will usually be the third report listed for selection number 12, coming
after OR LS130 and OR LS140. Some livestock offices publish a large number of reports. By
keeping track of the report slug lines you can estimate a particular report's position within a

Livestock reports for cattle, hogs, and sheep are categorized by slaughter and feeder
classes. Reports for each type of livestock may consist of terminal market, public auction
sales, direct trade and/or volume of trade or receipts. Most livestock field offices also
publish weekly summary reports for their areas.

Meat trade reports consist of price and movement data for standard cuts and boxed meat.
There are also meat reports that contain slaughter house statistics such as percentage of

Livestock reports are numbered in their slug line (the first line of a report) according to
the following scheme.

LS 110,115 Slaughter Cattle Terminal Markets
LS 120-125 Cattle auctions
LS 130-139 Slaughter Cattle Direct Trade
LS 140-145 Fed-State Cattle Reports
LS 150-155 Feeder Cattle Auctions
LS 160-165 Feeder Cattle Direct Trade
LS 180-184 Graded and Special Sales, Cattle

LS 210 Slaughter Hogs Terminal Markets
LS 220 Slaughter Hogs Auctions
LS 230-234 Slaughter Hogs Direct Trade
LS 250,265 Feeder Pig Auctions
LS 280 Graded and Special Sales, Hogs

LS 310,315 Sheep and Veal Terminal Markets
LS 320 Sheep Auctions
LS 330,335 Sheep Direct Trade
LS 380 Graded and Special Sales, Sheep

LS 400-404 Carlot Beef
LS 405 Veal and Lamb Weekly Trade Review
LS 410-411 Fabricated Cuts and Carcass Cutout
LS 421 West Coast Import Meat
LS 430-435 Less-than-carlot Meat
LS 440-444 By-product Report and Drop Value

LS 500-504 Pork Report and Cutout

LS 700-705 Livestock and Meat Futures Prices
LS 710-714 Federally Inspected Slaughter
LS 720-725 Livestock Average Weights

LS 800-811 Receipts
LS 830-834 Regional Summaries
LS 850-854 National Summaries

Items 21 through 30 in the Livestock menu consist of special summary reports issued
daily or weekly that may be of particular interest to the Florida livestock industry. The
majority of these reports originate from Washington D.C., consequently many can also be
viewed by selecting number 20 in this menu.

The Grain Sub-menu

Selecting item 3 from the MIS main menu will access the grain sub-menu (figure 8).
USDA-AMS currently maintains 34 field offices which report prices, movement, supply and
demand information and price support activities for grains, feedstuffs, and hay. The grain
sub-menu consists of a numerical listing of all 34 offices. Reports specific to each office can
be retrieved by entering the appropriate number then [RETURN]. Most offices publish more
than one report. As with the livestock menu, grain reports are retrieved in numerical order
according to each report's identifier or slug line.

Grain reports are numerically categorized by their slug lines according to the following

GR 110-114
GR 115
GR 210-214
GR 215
GR 310-314
GR 410-415
GR 710-711
GR 850-852

Daily Cash Grain
Weekly Cash Grain Summaries
Weekly Feedstuff Reports
Weekly Feedstuff Summaries
Weekly Hay Reports
Weekly Rice Reports
Grain Futures Prices
Weekly National Summaries

AMS does not currently report grain prices for Florida, Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi.
A Gulf Port grain report is published daily by the Baton Rouge, Louisiana field office.

Figure 8. The Grain Sub-Menu


Sub-Menu of AMS Market News Grain Reports

1. Albany NY
2. Austin TX
3. Baton Rouge La
4. Bell CA
5. Clovis NM
6. Columbia SC
7. Des Moines IA
8. Dodge City KS
9. El Centro CA
10. Fresno CA
11. Greeley Co
12. Jeff. City MO

Little Rock AR
Louisville KY
Madison WI
Minneapolis MN
Nashville TN
Ok. City OK
Omaha NE
Peoria IL
Portland OR
Raleigh NC
Richmond VA
Sacramento CA

Salt Lake UT
Sioux City IA
Sioux Falls SD
Springfield IL
St. Joe MO
Stockton CA
Torington WY
Visalia CA
Washington D.C.
Yakima WA

- - - - --------------.. . ..----------m---------- .. .. ..- --- -... .-----------------------

The Poultry Sub-menu

The AMS Poultry Market News Branch collects and disseminates market information on
poultry, eggs, poultry and egg products, rabbits, and other minor fowl. Choosing selection
number 4 from the main menu will call the Poultry sub-menu (figure 9). The Poultry Branch
maintains 14 field reporting offices including its Washington headquarters. The Poultry sub-
menu presents a numerical listing, items 1 through 14, of these reporting offices as well as a
listing of important national and regional summary reports, items 20 through 29. Poultry
reports are retrieved by entering the appropriate number then [RETURN]. Florida poultry and
egg prices are reported on a daily basis by the Orlando office. Currently there is not a
consistent numerical classification scheme for poultry reports.

Figure 9. Poultry Sub-menu


Sub-Menu for FED-STATE Market News Poultry Reports, local & national
> Local & national reports from < > National & regional <
> 14 selected reporting stations < > summary reports <

2. Baton Rouge, LA 12. Raleigh, NC 20. Eggs
3. Bell, CA 13. Richmond, VA 21. Broiler/Fryer
4. Chicago, IL 14. Washington, DC 22. Turkeys
5. Columbus, OH
7. Des Moines, IA 23. General
8. Edison, NJ 24. Eggs
9. Jackson, MS 25. Broilers
10. Kansas City, MO 26. Live hens

? 11

The Dairy Sub-Menu

The dairy sub-menu (figure 10), accessed from selection 5 in the main menu, is unique in
that it allows a menu selection by either location or type of product. There are only three
reporting offices for dairy market news: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; and
Washington, D.C. A complete listing of all reports issued by each of these offices can be
retrieved by entering the number 10 for Madison, 20 for Minneapolis, or 30 for Washington,

It is also possible to select dairy reports according to eight different product/report
classifications. These include fluid milk, dry buttermilk, butter, dry whey, non-fat dry milk,
milk products, cheese, and CCC purchases and storage. Entering a single digit number between
1 through 8 for the menu items under Madison, WI and Minneapolis, MN will retrieve reports

issued by both these offices only for that particular product/report category. For example,
entering the number 3 then [RETURN] will retrieve Butter reports issued by both Madison and
Minneapolis. Entering both digits for these menu items will retrieve only that report type for
Madison or Minneapolis, i.e., selecting item 13 will only retrieve the Madison butter report
while selecting 23 will only retrieve the Minneapolis butter report.

Figure 10. Dairy Sub-Menu

*************4t*i**********4 ***** ***** 4>4i** **

Sub-Menu of AMS Market News Dairy Reports

10. Madison WI 20. Minneapolis MN 30. Washington D.C.

11. Fluid Milk 21. Fluid Milk 31. Manufact. Milk
12. Dry Buttermilk 22. Dry Butterinilk 32. Fed. Milk Order
13. Butter 23. Butter
14. Dry Whey 24. Dry Whey Use #'s 1 8 to
15. N.F. Dry Milk 25. N.F. Dry Milk retrieve report
16. Milk Products 26. Milk Products types from both
17. Cheese 27. Cheese Madison WI and
18. CCC Pchs. & Stg. 28. Nat. Dairy Market Minneapolis MN.

? 12

Cotton and Tobacco

Currently there is not a sufficient number of AMS Tobacco and Cotton reports to justify
creating a separate menu for these commodity groups. Selecting either of these commodity
groups from the main menu, numbers 6 or 7 respectively, will retrieve an ordered sequential
listing of all reports issued for that group. Tobacco reports are numerically classified by type
of the type of tobacco reported. As with most other listings you can jump reports by
pressing the space bar or abort and return to the main menu by pressing CONTROL-C.

Futures Markets

Item number 8 in the main menu contains futures market prices for selected agricultural
commodities from the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the New
York Cotton Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Please pay close attention to
the date-time stamps on these reports and remember that Chicago is in the Central time zone.

Crop and Livestock Reporting Service Reports

Several popular USDA crop and weather reports are available from a sub-menu (figure
11) accessed from item 9 in the main menu. These reports contain current information on the
production activities and conditions of various economically important crops in Florida. The
Florida Crop News and Weather Summary is released each Monday at 4:00 p.m., and the
Florida Tomato Report is released at 4:00 p.m. each Tuesday during the Florida tomato season.
These reports are usually available on the IFAS MIS within 30 minutes of their release time
by USDA.

Figure 11. USDA Crop & Weather and NASS Reports



1. Florida Crop and Weather Summary
2. Florida Tomato Crop Report
3. Florida Citrus Crop Forecast
4. National Crop and Weather Summary
5. World Crop and Weather Summary



MIS Utilities are features which enhance and facilitate the use and usefulness of the
program. These utilities are available in items numbered 10 through 13 in the main menu.

Expert Mode

Expert mode is invoked by selecting item 10 within the main menu and provides a
MARKET> prompt at the bottom of the screen for user input. This mode allows individuals
who are familiar with AMS market news report headers or "slug" lines to retrieve AMS
reports without having to page through multiple menu screens. The slug line is always the
first line in any AMS report and consists of a two letter City code, followed by a two letter
commodity group code, then a 3 digit report number code. When using the Expert mode you
must enter a 2 letter commodity group code, i.e., FV for fruits and vegetables, LS for
livestock, GR for Grains, PY for Poultry, DA for Dairy, TB for tobacco, CN for Cotton, MC
for crop reports, or CB for USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) reports. The

proper order for entering a complete report identifier is the same as it appears on all AMS
reports. The 2 letter City code first, then the 2 letter Group code, followed by the 3 digit
number code. Using city and numeric codes are optional and not using them or using them
incompletely will function as wild card entries. Fruits & Vegetables, Livestock, Grain, and
Tobacco reports are classified numerically as described in previous respective sections of this
manual. By entering only 1 or 2 digits of the numeric code it is possible to retrieve specific
classes or types of reports for these commodity groups for one or all reporting offices. Also,
by entering only a single letter for a city code you can retrieve reports from all field offices
whose code begins with that letter.

You may return to the menu system from expert mode by typing MENU at the prompt
then [RETURN]. Enter EXIT or QUIT then [RETURN] to end the session and return to the
VAX "$" prompt.


This manual can be accessed from selection number 11 as an on-line help facility in menu
format (figure 12). This selection will also contain information on any system upgrades or
enhancements which may take place in the future. If you have questions or problems which
are not covered in this document or the help file, you are welcome to call or write the

Figure 12. MIS Help Menu



13. Fruit & Veg. Data-base
2. CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDG. 14. retrieving F&V by locat.
3. INTRODUCTION 15. retrieving F&V by commod.
4. PROGRAM OVERVIEW 16. The Livestock Menu
6. Starting the Program 18. The Poultry Menu
7. The Status Page 19. The Dairy Menu
8. The Data-Base and Main Menu 20. Tobacco and Cotton
9. making a selection 21. Futures
10. viewing reports 22. SRS and NASS reports
11. exiting the program 23. Expert Mode, Help, & Auto-Retrieve

? 0


Selection numbers 12 and 13 in the main menu are the "Auto-Retrieve" utilities.
"Auto-Retrieve" is an automatic file retrieval option that allows you to develop a personal list
of reports that can be retrieved without using program sub-menus. This feature is ideally
suited to individuals who use the data-base often, and consistently retrieve the same reports.
Once you have created an "Auto-Retrieve" file its use is optional. You can retrieve reports
manually as discussed in previous sections or use the Auto-Retrieve. The advantages of using
automatic retrieval are that it saves time, eliminates entry errors, and, once installed,
simplifies use of the program.

To create an Auto-Retrieve file type the number 12 in the main menu then press
[RETURN]. A page of instructions outlining the detailed procedures described below will
appear on your screen. After reading these instructions you will be asked to confirm your
choice to create an Auto-Retrieve file. Do so by entering a "Y" or "y" at the prompt
followed by [RETURN]. Any other response will exit the utility and return you to normal
program operation. If you make a positive confirmation, a second instruction page will follow.
Once you have reviewed these last instructions, press [RETURN] to begin creating your
Auto-Retrieve file. You will go back to the main menu. From this point, all you need to do
is select reports that you would like to have automatically retrieved in the order that you
want. The program will appear to operate normally except that it will record every selection
you make in a special file. You may include between I and 50 selections for automatic
retrieval. You cannot reselect items 12 or 13 from the main menu while the utility is active.
When you are finished, exit the program normally by entering a "99" in any of the menus.
Whenever you access the Market Information Systems again, you will be able to retrieve all of
your "Auto-Retrieve" selections by typing the number "13" in the main menu, then pressing

While it is not possible to edit an Auto-Retrieve file, you may rewrite your file at any
time by selecting item "12" and repeating the above process for some other combination of


We must reemphasize that this program is and will continue to be in a developmental
stage. Many aspects and features of Market Information Systems are the result of outside
input from users and other interested parties. We welcome any comments, complaints, and
suggestions that you may have. You may call Tom Stevens or John VanSickle at 904-392-2297,
or use VAX mail sent to the MARKETING account.


A communications supplement has been included here to outline the communication
alternatives available to IFAS personnel for accessing the Market Information Systems or other
IFAS VAX computer services. IFAS research and extension personnel have several options in
communicating with the VAX computer network. If you are located within the local area
telephone network of one of these IFAS computers or have special university telephone
connections, you may call an IFAS computer network locally. The direct telephone number for
each of the three IFAS computers is:

Gainesville.... 904-392-5750
Lake Alfred.... 813-956-3421
Quincy......... 904-875-3911

The Market Information Systems program is available at all three locations. MIS
performance on the Lake Alfred may be slightly slower than that of Gainesville and Quincy.

IFAS maintains several "800" toll free numbers primarily for county extension offices that
are not within the local dialing area of the VAX computers. These numbers have already been
issued to most extension and research personnel. Due to excessive demand for these lines,
time and usage restrictions for these phone numbers are in effect.

Communications parameters for the IFAS VAX network are: 1200 or 2400 baud, 8 data
bits, 1 stop bit, and null parity. More details on telephone communications with VAX can be
obtained from IFAS VAX headquarters.

An often under-utilized link to the IFAS VAX network is the Florida Information
Resource Network (FIRN). This is a toll-free computer communications network available to
State of Florida employees. To call any of the IFAS VAX computers over FIRN, dial one of
the numbers listed on the following page which is within your local area telephone network.
Your communications parameters should also be 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and null parity.

When you get on-line with FIRN, you will be asked to enter your terminal identifier.
You should type an uppercase A. (no [RETURN]!). You will then be prompted to log on. In
response, type as one word either IFASGNV, IFASLAL, or IFASQCY, depending on which IFAS
computer you wish to use, Gainesville, Lake Alfred, or Quincy. You can then sign into your
VAX account in the normal fashion.

"Logging" Market News reports.

It is often convenient to record reports on either paper or magnetic medium for later
off-line review or analysis. Most micro-computer communications software packages have
provisions for "logging" interactive remote computer sessions to either a printer or magnetic
storage device. There are too many of these products on the market to give specific
instructions for even a small fraction of them within this manual. Most communications
packages have their own users manuals which should explain this process in detail. The IFAS
VAX Computer Headquarters can provide assistance in this area. One of the most common
methods of logging a computer session to a printer is by toggling the Control-PrintScreen key
combination. Most IBM and VT_100 keyboards have these keys. Though slightly more
complex in its set-up, it is usually faster to "log" a session or set of reports to magnetic
medium than to a printer.


Boca Raton


Eglin AFB

Ft. Lauderdale

Ft. Myers

Ft. Walton Beach (UWF)




Panama City




St. Petersburg



W. Palm Beach
(Lake Worth)

(305) 395-0552
(305) 639-1790
(904) 678-7056
(305) 764-5540
(813) 489-4843
(904) 244-8185
(904) 392-5362 (S/622)
392-5369 (S/622)
(904) 646-2992 (S/861)
646-2962 (S/861)
646-2996 (S/861)
(305) 226-1846
(305) 275-2220 (S/345)
425-3402 (S/345)
425-3511 (S/345)
(904) 872-4670
(904) 474-2519 (S/680)
474-2532 (S/680)
474-2361 (S/680)
(305) 639-1790
(813) 957-4682
(813) 893-9509 (S/545)
893-9540 (S/545)
(813) 893-9539 (S/545)
893-9126 (S/545)
(904) 488-0650 (S/278)
488-6627 (S/278)
(813) 974-3890 (S/574)
974-3897 (S/574)
(305) 969-3504

300/1200 Auto Baud Detect
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Insttute of Food and Agricultural Science

director. In cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infomnation to further the purpose of the May 8 and June
30, 1914 Ac of Congr; and is authorized to provide research, educational Infornation and other service only to Indlviduas and institutions that
funalon without regard to rae, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Single copies of extension publication (excluding 4-H and youth
publication) are available free to Florida resident from county extension office. Infomatin on bulk mre or copies for out-of-tate purchaers
is available from C.M. Hinton, Publications Distrbution Center, IFA3 ullding 664, Universty of Florida. Gaineville, Florida 32611. Before publlzcin
this publication, editors should contact this address to determine avaiablity. Printed 3/93.