Legislation that recently passed the US House of Representatives would ensure mandatory reporting of beef, lamb and pork prices continues in the event of another government shutdown.
The sheep and pork industries requested changes to mandatory price reporting legislation to avoid the possibility of having too little data for USDA to complete reports.
The bill, reauthorising the price-reporting program for five more years, also broadens the number of meat companies required to report lamb prices and grows participation in a critical pork category to make certain reports aren’t missed due to lack of participation. USDA won’t publish the daily and weekly price reports when too few companies submit data, potentially jeopardising participants’ confidentiality.
National Pork Producers Council spokesman Dave Warner said the House bill creates a new pork reporting category called “negotiated formula sales/purchases.” Currently, about 3% of hogs sold for cash on the open market set prices for the entire industry. Warner said the change would also include hogs sold for cash, but with a delayed delivery date or at a price and delivery date that’s set later, adding another 2-4 percent of hog sales to the crucial price-setting category.
Another change would add hogs sold after 1:30 p.m., which are currently missed by reporting, to the next day’s report. Warner said hogs sold in the late afternoon are typically delivered the next day, anyway, and the change should reduce the odds of USDA omitting reports due to confidentiality concerns.
Source: Capital Press