Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Legislation Would Bring Needed Transparency to Cattle Markets

News / Newsline March 4, 2021

Credit: AFBF 

Legislation introduced in the Senate would create more transparency in cattle markets. Micheal Clements shares how the bill aligns with priorities set by Farm Bureau members.

Clements: The Cattle Market Transparency Act would bring much needed changes to cattle markets, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Congressional Relations Director Scott Bennett says events last year highlighted the need for reform.

Bennett: After an extremely volatile 2020 in the cattle market, producers became exceedingly frustrated. This bill helps ease much of that frustration by creating a contract library for producers to compare the terms of their contracts versus others in the industry. It also mandates that a packer report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days. This is a requirement that already exists in the swine industry and will better help industry to project estimated slaughter numbers and the packers need for cattle.

Clements: AFBF passed policy objectives during the Virtual Annual Convention earlier this year detailing how cattle markets can be more transparent.

Bennett: This was after an extensive review of the cattle markets by our Cattle Market Working Group in 2020. If AFBF is to support a mandatory minimum negotiated trade, it must be cognizant of regional differences, and this bill does exactly that. Supporting Senator Deb Fischer and Ron Wyden’s Cattle Market Transparency Act is a huge step forward for AFBF.

Clements: Bennett says the Cattle Market Working Group’s grassroots efforts paid off, leading to support of this bill.

Bennett: Because of their leadership, we’re able to proudly support this bill, which certainly moves our industry forward. That, to me, is what Farm Bureau is all about. So, I would encourage all Farm Bureau members to reach out to your local Congressmen and Senators and ask them to support the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

Read the AFBF Cattle Market Working Group Report here

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