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MFU Puts Full Support Behind Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act

Momentum is building for The Cattle Price Discovery, and Transparency Act as senators Tester, Grassley, Fisher, and Wyden introduced the legislation las week. This comes on the heels of a meeting in May between Montana Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association in Phoenix, AZ, where the group discussed livestock market reforms. The consensus of the group was that there must be greater transparency in the cattle market. The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act address the significant concerns of the group. “This legislation will create a more competitive market for cow-calf producers and feeders,” said Schweitzer.

The Act will add the following requirements to Livestock Mandatory Reporting:

14 Day Rule: Packers will report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14-day period.

Base Price: The USDA to report the base price information for cattle purchased through formula marketing arrangements.

Carcass Weights: The USDA determines the minimum time frame to report daily average carcass weights of cattle after they are chilled.

Contract Library: The USDA to create and maintain a library of marketing contracts between packers and producers.

Transparency: The USDA to find ways to disclose all information required by Livestock Mandatory Reporting regularly.

Cash Trade: Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Chief Economist, to establish mandatory levels of negotiated cash and negotiated grid transactions for each USDA Agriculture Marketing Service designated cattle region, seek public comment on those levels, and implement the protocol. Under this new program, covered packers, on a plant-by-plant basis, will be required to procure a certain amount of cattle from the cash market.

Increase Packer Penalty: Aligns beef/swine maximum packer penalty with poultry dealer’s maximum penalty for violations of The Packers and Stockyards Act.

“MFU stands committed to working with leaders from the national leading livestock groups and congress to create a more competitive market. We appreciate Senator Tester’s efforts. Tester gets it and is getting it done.”

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