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US: Law requires meat packers to report animal prices

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the House Agriculture Committee for approving legislation to re-authorise the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture the prices they pay producers for animals.

The committee passed H.R. 5852, sponsored by panel Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to reauthorise for five years the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which is set to expire Sept. 30. The committee bill also adds to the reporting law provisions requiring reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts.
 
“We are very pleased that the Agriculture Committee approved legislation reauthorising the mandatory price reporting law,” said NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa. “The addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions.”
 
Companion Senate legislation, sponsored by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., was introduced Tuesday (27 July).
 
“The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” Carney said, “not regulations restricting how I market my hogs and dictating how markets will work” – a reference to a proposed USDA rule on the buying and selling of livestock and poultry.
That proposal to amend the Packers and Stockyards Act has been roundly criticized, and USDA was excoriated by lawmakers for writing a rule – with no input from the affected industries – that goes beyond what Congress mandated in the 2008 Farm Bill.
 
The last time the price reporting law was reauthorised – in September 2006 – three enhancements to the pork reporting provisions were added. They:
 
• Added more sows to the pricing reports to more accurately reflect the sales and prices paid in the sow market.
• Changed the timing for data reporting to help USDA with its workload and increase report accuracy and efficiency.
• Allowed USDA to publish price distributions for net prices to provide more useful information
 
Source: NPPC

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