Last week, USDA released an update on its investigation of cattle markets. American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director Scott Bennett said the report is looking at market price disparities.
“In the report, USDA outlines exactly what has happened in the volatile cattle markets since the Holcomb fire in August of 2019, and the volatilities due to COVID-19. In addition to the report, there’s some policy recommendations that USDA feels could be addressed both administratively and legislatively to further reduce the volatility in the cattle market.”
Bennett said Farm Bureau is reviewing the USDA policy recommendations and hopes to have a robust discussion not only with legislators, but the administration on what can be done to reduce market volatility. He added AFBF’s hopes is this investigation will lead to fair cattle markets.
“We understand that the meatpacking industry is consolidated into four major packers that represent 80%-85% of the weekly kill,” Bennett added. “We understand that they are a part of our supply chain. However, we need to work for the producer and increase their leverage that they have in order to have fair cattle markets.”
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