New Cattle Market Bill Aims to Increase Transparency

News / FBNews June 10, 2021

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Recently introduced legislation would create greater price discovery and transparency within the cattle market, while giving producers more tools and useful information. The Farm Bureau-backed Optimizing the Cattle Market Act of 2021 would direct USDA to create a cattle formula contracts library and increase the reporting window for “cattle committed” from seven to 14 days.

The bill would also require USDA, in consultation with the department’s chief economist, to establish mandated minimums for regional negotiated cash and negotiated grid live cattle trade.

“America’s families are paying more for meat at the grocery store while rock bottom prices are paid to farmers. Ranchers can’t continue to lose money on the cattle they work hard to raise. Farmers and ranchers have legitimate questions, and this legislation takes important steps toward ensuring they have fair access to markets and are fully informed on pricing,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “We appreciate Representative Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Representative Cleaver (D-Mo.) for introducing the Optimizing the Cattle Market Act of 2021 and we look forward to working with Congress to make certain farmers and ranchers can continue to put dinner on the table in homes across America.”

The measure also expresses the sense of Congress that there is a need for expedited reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting program, including base prices subject to the same reporting requirements as negotiated cash and the creation of a contract library, and directs USDA to provide educational outreach activities for producers on how to best utilize the library.

The Optimizing the Cattle Market Act of 2021 is similar to Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021 (S. 543). This Market Intel goes into detail about the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021, cattle transactions and regional minimum negotiated trade.

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