By MATTHEW WEAVER

Capital Press

An electrical fire forced the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service to delay crop reports that were scheduled to be released today.

A small fire in USDA's south building in Washington, D.C., occurred during routine maintenance at approximately 1:30 a.m. Pacific Time, said USDA spokesman Justin DeJong.

The fire department handled it, and the power to the facility was shut off. The USDA's Whitten Building is also closed today.

USDA employees in the area are on administrative leave today, DeJong said.

NASS was scheduled to release its report on planting of corn and other crops at 1 p.m. Pacific Time today.

All reports will be rescheduled for Tuesday at the same time. That includes reports on potato stocks, turkey hatchery data and commercial hatchery production.

USDA public affairs specialist Alex Minchenkov said the service hoped to have servers operational Tuesday.

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