Livestock and farm groups discuss cattle market transparency

In an unprecedented move, representatives from diverse ag and cattle industry groups met recently to identify issues and discuss potential solutions to the price imbalance in the cattle industry.

The groups met at the request of the Livestock Marketing Association, and included representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association.

Brett Crosby, a cattle producer from Wyoming and a member of the US Cattlemen’s Association says one of the biggest challenges producers face is a lack of slaughter capacity.  “We recognize that we need to work as an industry to encourage new capacity to come online in the form of regional and small packing plants,” he says.  “Because in addition to more capacity, we need more competition.”

The group also wants the renewal of the USDA’s Livestock Mandatory Reporting to be expedited.  Including formula base prices subject to the same reporting requirements as negotiated cash and a creation of an anonymous contract library. 

Bryan Hanson is a member of R-CALF USA and owner of Ft. Pierre Livestock in South Dakota.  “To where it would open the window and show what everybody is getting,” he says.  “Because a lot of these larger feedlots are receiving different contracts on cattle than the independent guy who is feeding 1,500 cattle.”

The group also wants the Department of Justice to issue a public investigation status report and as warranted, conduct joint DOJ and USDA oversight of packer activity moving forward. 

Representatives agreed to take these action items back to their respective organizations for consideration. This was the first meeting of the groups and more meetings are expected down the road. 

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!