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NCBA president ‘encouraged’ by organization’s work toward cattle market transparency

The president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says work continues to improve transparency in the cattle markets.

Jerry Bohn tells Brownfield he’s encouraged by results from the organization’s live cattle marketing working group, which is designed to improve cash and grid trade. “We’ve seen an increase in negotiated trade in Texas particularly and to a lesser extent in Kansas, while in the northern states Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota have been traditionally stronger negotiated trade states anyways and they have maintained their volumes for the most part,” Bohn says.

In the summer of 2020, NCBA said it supported a voluntary approach to increase frequent and transparent negotiated trade to regionally sufficient levels and included triggers to evaluate volumes in each region and benchmarks for improvement.

At the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Midyear meeting last week, Bohn said the group is still working with the country’s four largest meat packers for “robust” price discovery. “I think kind of a middle of the road response,” he says. “Concern about having to tell some members or producers that they have agreements with that maybe they have to change. Concerns about it having an impact on programs that they have in place with consumers or retailers that they would have to adjust them someway to have more negotiated trade.”

Bohn says it’s a work in progress as dialogue with the processors continue but fear of government intervention dictating the terms of trade going forward could disrupt talks. 

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