September 25, 2023

Tricia Oak

Business & Finance Excellency

Livestock Marketing Report added to the CR

The Senate and the House have both passed the continuing resolution to fund the government through December 3, and President Biden signed it.

The extension of the Livestock Marketing Report (sometimes known as Mandatory Price Reporting) program was added to the continuing resolution to fund the government, a Senate Agriculture Committee source told The Hagstrom Report.

R-CALF’s Eric Nelson, an Iowa cattle feeder, said this means the industry has time to rally key legislators to gain support for meaningful updates to LMR including 50-14, a proposal to require larger meatpackers to purchase at least 50 percent of their weekly kill on the spot market, and to require that delivery of those cattle take place within 14 days of purchase.

Recent packer purchasing activity which has appeared to target smaller, independent feeders in the north highlights the need for change in the near future, said Nelson.

“The real concerning thing is, a week ago, and the week before, the price they paid for formula cattle was $10 to $14 per hundred weight higher than the price paid for cash negotiated cattle in Nebraska and Iowa,” he said.

“Everyone needs to let their senators and congressmen know that this is going on. It’s very reminiscient of what happened the last yaer before the swine industry integrated. It’s de ja vu. Once all leverage is lost, no one will have leverage, even some of the bigger players won’t have leverage,” said Nelson.

Nelson hopes producers will ask their congressmen and senators to include the 50/14 rule in the LMR regulations when they are renewed this December.

The House Ag Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “A Hearing to Review the State of the Livestock Industry” on Oct. 7, 2021, where Senator Grassley of Iowa, a Republican who introduced the 50/14 bill, is expected to testify. Go to here to see the hearing (scheduled for noon Eastern Time) live.

Both the Senate and the House needed to pass the CR by Thursday at midnight to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on October 1.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member on the committee, introduced a bill Monday to extend the LMR program, through December 31.

Through LMR, packers and importers submit purchase and sales of livestock and livestock products to the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service. AMS then issues more than 300 market reports each week detailing livestock and meat price trends, contracting agreements, and supply and demand conditions while protecting the confidentiality of proprietary transactions, according to an AMS background paper.

LMR was established in 1999 out of livestock producers’ concerns about growing concentration in the industry.

–The Hagstrom Report and staff reporting