U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2020 on Tuesday of last week.
According to a statement from Sen. Fischer, the legislation aims to restore transparency and accountability in the cattle market. In addition, it aims to ensure regionally sufficient negotiated cash trade and equip producers with more information to make marketing decisions.
“The past few years have been very difficult for producers, due to tough conditions and big market disruptions such as the Holcomb plant fire and the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Sen. Fischer. “My legislation seeks to bring transparency and accountability to the cattle market. It will ensure there are a sufficient number of cash transactions to facilitate price discovery, and equip producers with more price information to assist them with their marketing decisions.”
Hear comments from the Senator during an interview with KRVN Farm Director Susan Littlefield
Since the introduction, groups including Nebraska Cattlemen, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association have announced their support of the legislation.
“We sincerely thank Senator Fisher for her work on this important issue to Nebraska Cattlemen members,” said Nebraska Cattlemen President Ken Herz. “Price discovery and market transparency are complex issues that take complex solutions.”
“Price discovery is an issue of critical importance to cow/calf producers, stockers, backgrounders, and feeders across the United States, and more negotiated trade is needed throughout the cattle feeding regions to ensure sufficient price discovery,” read a statement from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “This policy directs NCBA to pursue a voluntary approach to price discovery that includes triggers established by a working group of producer members which, if tripped due to a lack of regionally sufficient negotiated trade, would prompt NCBA to seek legislative or regulatory solutions—such as those outlined in Sen. Fischer’s bill—to achieve robust price discovery.”
“As a Nebraska cattle producer, I echo the same sentiments expressed by Senator Fischer on the impacts to our livelihood of increased packer competition, decreased competition, and a declining cash market,” said United States Cattlemen’s Association Board Member Lee Reichmuth. “This bill builds off the recommendations provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its Boxed Beef and Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report and discussions producers across the U.S. are having in response to historically low cattle prices and a dysfunctional marketplace.”