(WASHINGTON) – On Wednesday, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), National Farmers Union (NFU), and eleven other organizations sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee requesting a hearing on livestock mandatory price reporting reauthorization.
The Livestock Mandatory Reporting rule, established in 1999, mandates price reporting for cattle, boxed beef swine, and lamb. It is reauthorized every five years, with the current program expiring on September 30, 2020. This year represents an opportunity to make meaningful change to the program to increase transparency and true price discovery.
According to a 2019 Congressional Research Service report, “A common concern among stakeholders is the low volume of negotiated purchases and a parallel trend toward increased formula purchases or other marketing arrangements.
“Other concerns are about confidentiality and a lack of clarity on how transactions are categorized in reports, with some stakeholders advocating for the inclusion of more details about transactions, such as premium levels—especially as the market changes—and reporting on the number of livestock committed to packers.”
USCA and others strongly urge the Senate Agriculture Committee to examine all available solutions to the current market factors depressing livestock prices and the increasing consolidation facing the U.S. cattle industry. As stated in our letter, we are running out of time to work towards a tenable reauthorization of the program. The U.S. livestock industry requires bold leadership to realign the marketplace with its fundamentals, and that starts with modernizing the Livestock Mandatory Reporting program.
Organizations signing-on to the letter include: Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Nebraska, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, Marias River Livestock Association, Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Montana Farmers Union, National Farmers Union, North Dakota Farmers Union, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, South Dakota Farmers Union, and Women Involved in Farm Economics.