NCBA opposes cash trade mandate; Iowa cattlemen support it

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it will oppose a new Senate bill mandating a minimum level of 50 percent cash cattle trade.

NCBA says such a mandate would restrict cattle producers’ marketing options.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA), an NCBA state affiliate, says it fully supports the bill. Dustin Purhmann, who chairs the group’s feedlot council, tells Brownfield the industry has failed to address their concerns.

“As we’ve worked with the industry and called for more cash negotiated trade for transparency and price discovery purposes for the last ten years, we don’t seem to get anywhere. We can’t get anything moving,” Purhmann says. “So I feel it’s somewhat of a last resort to kind of force their hand to do something about it.”

Iowa runs around 50 percent negotiated cash sales each week. But nationwide only about 20 percent of cattle are traded through cash negotiation, with 80 percent marketed through formula transactions that are more common in southern states.

ICA says cattle traded through formula transactions bring 20 to 40 dollars per head more than negotiated cash cattle, even though the cash cattle in the Upper Midwest generally grade much higher.

“We just want to make sure that everybody’s kind of getting bid a fair price for what they’re selling,” Purhmann says.

AUDIO: Dustin Purhmann

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