(FEBRUARY 2, 2023) – Today, Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) reintroduced the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.
The bill would establish minimum levels of fed cattle purchases made through approved pricing mechanisms, which includes negotiated cash, negotiated grid, at a stockyard, and through trading systems that multiple buyers and sellers regularly can make and accept bids.
The bill also includes provisions to create a cattle contract library, mandating box beef reporting to ensure transparency, expediting the reporting of cattle carcass weights, and requiring a packer to report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days.
USCA President Justin Tupper issued the following statement:
“The U.S. cattle industry is cyclical by nature – there are ‘up’ years and ‘down’ years. But for producers, those up years come far too few and in between the down years due to an increasingly consolidated industry. Restoring fair and competitive market practices is essential to leveling the playing field for U.S. producers.
“This bill gives producers access to valuable information that can help them make better – and more profitable – marketing decisions. USCA applauds Senators Fischer, Tester, Grassley, and Wyden for their commitment to this historic legislation. We welcome the reintroduction of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act in the 118th Session of Congress and look forward to advancing this bill to the President’s desk.”
In addition to Sens. Fischer, Wyden, Grassley, and Tester, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sherrod Brown (R-Ohio), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.).
11 of the cosponsors are members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2023 will:
Require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish 5-7 regions encompassing the entire continental U.S. and then establish minimum levels of fed cattle purchases made through approved pricing mechanisms. Approved pricing mechanisms are fed cattle purchases made through negotiated cash, negotiated grid, at a stockyard, and through trading systems that multiple buyers and sellers regularly can make and accept bids. These pricing mechanisms will ensure robust price discovery and are transparent.
Establish a maximum penalty for covered packers of $90,000 for mandatory minimum violations. Covered packers are defined as those packers that during the immediately preceding five years have slaughtered five percent or more of the number of fed cattle nationally.
Create a publicly available library of marketing contracts, mandating box beef reporting to ensure transparency, expediting the reporting of cattle carcass weights, and requiring a packer to report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days.
The contract library would be permanently authorized and specify key details about the contents that must be included in the library like the duration of the contract and provisions in the contract that may impact price such as schedules, premiums and discounts, and transportation arrangements.
Click here for a one-pager on the regional mandatory minimum provision.
Click here for a section-by-section summary of the bill.
Full text of the legislation is available here.