The National Pork Producers Council is urging the Senate to quickly approve legislation reauthorizing the livestock mandatory price reporting law after today’s markup by the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee. The law expires Sept. 30.
The statute requires meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay for cattle, swine and lambs and other information. USDA publishes twice-daily reports with information on pricing, contracting for purchase, supply and demand conditions for livestock, livestock production and livestock products.
Similar to a bill (H.R. 2051) passed by the House in early June, the Senate agriculture panel-approved measure includes new provisions sought by the U.S. pork industry. One would add a new “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 would require that pigs sold after 1:30 p.m. be included in the next morning’s price report. Not included in the Senate legislation but in the House version is language to amend the definition of “reporting day” to ensure that price reports are available during government shutdowns or emergency furloughs of federal employees.
“It is imperative that the Senate reauthorize before it expires the mandatory price reporting law, which provides pork producers and meat packers transparent, accurate and timely national market information to make knowledge-based business decisions about selling and buying hogs,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C. “We commend the Senate Agriculture Committee and Chairman [Pat] Roberts [R-Kan.] for getting this done.
“While we’re disappointed that some senators opposed including in the Senate bill language to ensure price reports are published during, for example, a government shutdown, we’ll continue to work with lawmakers to get that important provision enacted.”
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 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.