Meat price reporting bill waits for president's signature

Current statute expires tomorrow

The National Pork Producers Council is urging the president to quickly sign into law legislation reauthorizing the livestock mandatory price reporting law. The current statute is set to expire tomorrow.

The law requires meat packers to report to the USDA the prices they pay for cattle, hogs and lambs and other information. The USDA publishes twice-daily reports with information on pricing, contracting for purchase, supply and demand conditions for livestock, livestock production and livestock products.

“America’s pork producers urge President Obama to sign into law this important legislation, which provides producers and meat packers transparent, accurate and timely national market information to make knowledge-based business decisions about selling and buying hogs,” says NPPC President Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C.

The reauthorization legislation, which the House approved yesterday after the Senate last week sent it a slightly different measure than the one the lower chamber passed in June, includes new provisions sought by the U.S. pork industry, including one that establishes a “Negotiated-Formula” price category to better reflect the total number of hogs negotiated each day regardless of how buyers and sellers arrive at the prices. Another provision will require that pigs sold after 1:30 p.m. be included in the next morning’s price report.

“Livestock producers are dependent on mandatory price reports for making informed decisions about transactions,” Prestage says. “The president’s timely action on the five-year reauthorization bill will ensure the reports will continue to be published.”

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 changed a voluntary reporting system for hogs, cattle and other livestock at slaughter to a requirement for meat processors to report detailed price and sales data. The law requires packers to submit to USDA regional and national data on a daily and weekly basis for hogs and similar information for cattle and lambs. It also required the USDA to establish a library of the types of contracts offered by packers to pork producers for the purchase of hogs, including future delivery purchases.

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