Farm Bureau-Supported Bill to Improve Fairness in Cattle Market Announced

Four senators have struck a bipartisan deal to introduce the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, a proposal which seeks to provide fairness in cattle markets. The American Farm Bureau Federation supports the proposed legislation.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) plan to formally introduce the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act this month. According to the senators, the legislation will establish a “series of provisions to ensure every segment of the beef supply chain can succeed.”

The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act aims to address the declining negotiated cash market, which has increasingly been replaced by alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs). AMAs include formula pricing, forward markets and longer-term marketing agreements.

The act would take an an average of the previous 18 months to establish mandatory minimum thresholds of negotiated cash and negotiated grid trades for each region, which would be reviewed every two years. The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the USDA Chief Economist, would be required to seek public comments on those levels to set and implement them. No one region could be more than 300% of the mandatory minimum of the lowest region.

The legislation would also require that the USDA create and maintain a publicly available library of marketing contracts between packers and producers.

A section-by-section summary of the bill is available on Sen. Fischer’s website.

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