(JULY 22) – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its highly anticipated report covering two market distorting events in the past year in the U.S. cattle industry – the fire at a Tyson Foods’ processing facility in Holcomb, Kansas in August 2019 and the ongoing food supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.
United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:
“The top-line considerations detailed in this report provide a roadmap for returning transparency and true price discovery in the cattle marketplace. USCA has long since advocated for making these changes through the reauthorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR), a program which is due to expire on September 30, 2020.
“On July 1, USCA and twelve other organizations sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts requesting a hearing be held on the state of the U.S. cattle industry. It is simply unacceptable to be met with silence, while producers are asked to weather another year of declining farm and ranch income. Producer organizations have brought forth real, tangible marketplace solutions that are underscored in this report, and that deserve to be brought forward for discussion on Capitol Hill.
“As noted in this report, USDA’s findings do not preclude the possibility that individual entities or groups of entities violated the Packers and Stockyards Act. That investigation is ongoing. We appreciate the work of USDA leadership and staff in thoroughly examining these historic market disruptions and look forward to the findings of the Department of Justice investigation for a complete overview of the allegations of anticompetitive and market distorting practices employed by the meatpacking industry.”