IARN – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley praises a bipartisan compromise bill that seeks to restore fairness to the livestock market dominated by four large meat slaughterhouses.
On Tuesday, Grassley joined Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jon Tester of Montana and Ron Wyden of Oregon in announcing the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. Grassley told farm reporters the bill was a compromise between his 50/14 legislation and Senator Fischer’s Livestock Market Transparency Act.
“You’ve heard me tell you so many times about my top priority to pass legislation to improve market conditions for independent cattle producers,” Grassley said. “I am proud to report that we are one step closer to making this happen.”
Grassley says Iowa cattle producers need legislation that will help alleviate the gaps and concerns in the cattle market that have long plagued the industry.
“I have heard directly from livestock producers who think they are not getting a fair price for their cattle from the Big Four Meat Slaughterhouses while they are raking in the profits,” Grassley said. “You heard me say some numbers from June, where one week packers were making $ 1,200 per head, then another week, $ 800 per head. The farmers were doing nothing.
Grassley explains some of the key measures of the compromise legislation.
“Our bill contains strong provisions that were included in my Bill 50/14, including new reports for packers,” Grassley said. “Although I had to compromise on the mandatory 50% minimum of spot traded transactions, I believe the bill will stop the erosion of the spot market. “
Grassley said senators plan to introduce the Livestock Price Discovery and Transparency Act in the coming days.
“Next month will be critical as we discuss with the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees to have the bill included in the re-authorization of mandatory livestock reporting legislation,” he said. Grassley said. “Producers across the country are counting on Congress to make real reforms to the livestock market, and that’s one of my two big goals for this year. “
The proposal is endorsed by a number of state and national organizations, including the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau, the National Farmers Union, and the US Cattlemen’s Association.
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.
Photo courtesy of Senator Grassley’s office