AgWeb: Senators Reintroduce Cattle Market Reform Legislation: Goal to Improve Price Discovery and Transparency
Lawmakers are taking another shot at trying to pass legislation to fix the cattle market. Last Thursday farm state Senators reintroduced a bill that would among other things mandate the amount of cash trade in the cattle market. However, the same hurdles for passage remain in the House and Senate.
Senators including Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Jon Tester of Montana, plus 18 other cosponsors re-introduced the bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2023. It’s legislation they say will improve price discovery and transparency in the cattle market.
The legislation would mandate regional cash minimums and equip producers with more market information, including permanently authorizing a cattle contract library. While the measure is supported by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is opposed.
Tanner Beymer, Sr. Director of Govt. Affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says, “Our members have given us very strong and very firm policy that says that they don’t think there is a role for the federal government in determining what is an appropriate level of negotiated trade. That is something for the industry to take on and something for the industry to decide for its itself and NCBA has been a very important part of that process in trying to get that done on a voluntary basis to raise some of those negotiated trades up in the interest of price discovery.”
Beymer says the fact that the cattle market is recovering is proof that the market can be fixed by means other than legislating mandates.
Last year this bill did pass out of the Senate Ag Committee but was not brought up for consideration before a new Congress was elected. Beymer doesn’t think the bill has enough support in the Senate for passage and so far, there is no companion legislation that has been reintroduced in the House.