A group of Senators this week introduced a bipartisan bill to increase transparency in cattle pricing. Led by Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the legislation seeks to foster efficient markets while increasing competition and transparency among meatpackers who purchase livestock directly from independent producers. The bill will require that a minimum of 50% of a meat packer’s weekly volume of beef slaughter be purchased on the open or spot market.
Grassley first introduced the bill in 2002. But after discovering a discrepancy between high grocery store shelf prices and simultaneous decreased cattle prices, Grassley re-introduced the legislation. The senator says the bill will make systemic changes to the cattle industry to ensure longevity of independent producers, which will protect the U.S. beef supply.
Joining Grassley on the bill are Senate Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and Steve Daines of Montana; along with Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Tina Smith of Minnesota.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)