“Transparency is essential to the functioning of our livestock markets, and our ability as producers to make decisions critical to our profitability,” said Ellis. “We appreciate the Senate’s reauthorization of this provision before it expired at the end of the month. Unfortunately, due to the actions of Senator Stabenow, not only does this legislation lack the status of an essential service, the bill differs substantially from the House version; subjecting producers to further delay and uncertainty.”
Mandatory Price Reporting requires meat packers to report to USDA the prices they pay for cattle, hogs and sheep purchased from farmers and ranchers for slaughter, as well as the prices they receive for the sale of wholesale beef, pork and lamb. Mandatory Price Reporting also requires USDA to issue daily, weekly and monthly livestock and meat market reports.
“For America’s cattlemen and women, market transparency is not a luxury,” said Ellis. “Cattle markets are complex and ever-changing, and cattle producers like myself rely on the information provided by price reporting to make informed decisions. The actions of Senator Stabenow have ensured that cattle producers will not have access to this critical market information in the event of a government shutdown.”
In contrast to the House version, the Senate’s Mandatory Price Reporting legislation does not make the program an essential government service, rendering the program vulnerable to future government shutdowns. Due to these differences, the legislation now must be conferenced with the House, and signed by the President prior to expiration on Sept. 30, 2015.