Obama signs mandatory price reauthorization legislation

President Obama on Wednesday signed H.R. 2051, otherwise known as the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, which extends the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999, reauthorizes certain authorities of the U.S. Grain Standards Act and authorizes appropriations for the National Forest Foundation.

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which expired Sept. 30, 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.

The House earlier this week approved a Senate-passed reauthorizing the measure for another five years.

According to the National Pork Producers Council, reauthorization legislation 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.

Not included in the final bill was language to amend the definition of “reporting day” to ensure that price reports are available during government shutdowns or emergency furloughs of federal employees. While the NPPC is disappointed that the language wasn’t included, the organization is confident that the USDA will continue to publish price reports during any government shutdown.

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