Nebraska Cattlemen Appreciation Continued Market Transparency Focus
Nebraska Cattlemen appreciates the continued focus on price transparency in live cattle markets with the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House that mirrors Senator Deb Fischer’s call to establish a cattle contract specification library. The House bill, led by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and co-sponsored by sixteen House members, including Nebraska Representative Adrian Smith, calls for a cattle contract specification library within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
“Cattle markets are complex. There is no single silver bullet solution to address the many challenges present within the fed cattle marketing arena at this point.” William H Rhea, III – President, Nebraska Cattlemen. “We appreciate the work of Representatives Johnson and others, but we cannot stop here.”
Decreasing levels of market transparency and the essential work of price discovery being done by fewer and fewer market participants have been headline issues for Nebraska Cattlemen members for the greater part of a decade. Expanding access to benchmark USDA-AMS price and volume data for all types of cattle purchases is an essential ingredient to helping Nebraska Cattlemen members negotiate more confidently for competitive prices. While creating a contract library is a first step in expanding market transparency, continued focus must also remain on expanding processing capacity, addressing labor shortages, and increasing price discovery to truly address the live cattle market concerns of Nebraska Cattlemen members.
Nebraska Cattlemen Live Cattle Market Focused Actions:
- Nebraska Cattlemen continues to address member concerns regarding price discovery and price determination through the operation of, and continued investments in, Nebraska Cattlemen’s Market Reporting Service.
- Nebraska Cattlemen remains dedicated to working on a national scale to help refine market transparency components in Senator Deb Fischer’s Cattle Market Transparency Act – initially introduced in the 116th Congress and re-introduced in the 117th.
- Nebraska Cattlemen continues to work with state and federally elected officials to address labor shortages for Nebraska Cattlemen’s producer members and supporting industries within the beef supply and marketing chain.
- Nebraska Cattlemen was the first organization to send a letter to the Attorney General requesting the Department of Justice open an antitrust investigation of beef pricing margins, emphasizing – for the continuity of business for the production sector of the cattle industry, that evidence of any illegal or fraudulent business practices within the beef meatpacking industry be identified and rectified. Nebraska Cattlemen continues to press for an investigation status update and investigation results. View a DOJ investigation timeline here.