The USDA sent Congress details on a study to determine whether a Dealer Statutory Trust would improve the recovery of livestock sellers in cases of dealer payment defaults. The Hagstrom Report says the study, which was required under the 2018 Farm Bill, was undertaken by the Ag Marketing Service’s Packers and Stockyards Division.
“Based on its analysis of industry data, public input, and experience with the livestock industry, USDA finds it would be feasible to implement a Livestock Dealer Statutory Trust,” says the Livestock Marketing Association in a news release. “Under current law, farmers, ranchers, and livestock auctions have been devastated when livestock dealers default on payments.”
They say the sellers don’t often get the livestock back that they weren’t paid for. The producers also recover little from the dealer’s bond. The USDA report analyzes 83 dealer defaults that occurred between October of 2013 and June of 2019. The LMA says, “A Dealer Statutory Trust would give unpaid livestock sellers the legal right to reclaim the animals, or if they’ve been resold, proceeds from the livestock in the unfortunate event of a livestock dealer payment default.”
The report found that existing statutory trusts in other segments of agriculture have been effective in improving financial recoveries and LMA says similar results could be expected in the livestock industry.