Washington, D.C. - The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), a trade association for meat and poultry packers and processors of all sizes, today released the following statement regarding the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021, H.R. 5609, which was marked up and reported out of the House Committee on Agriculture:
"Members of the Meat Institute are still analyzing the bill and how it might affect their operations," said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute. "More time is needed to consider how the bill will affect livestock producers, feedlot operators and packers and processors. And due to the limited time allowed to consider the legislation, we ask the House to pause and include packers in the conversation, since the packers would bear the burden of complying with this new government mandate."
The bill must be approved by the full House and would also need Senate consideration before it could be signed into law.
"The Meat Institute and its members will work with the Congress to address any unintended consequences," said Potts. "There is already robust price discovery provided by beef packers on a daily basis. We urge members of Congress to slow down and to first do no harm."
For background on transparency and price discovery in cattle and beef markets:
Congress established and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act (LMR) program to facilitate open, transparent price discovery and provide all market participants, both large and small, with comparable levels of market information for slaughter cattle and beef, and other species. For more on LMR see this resource from USDA.
Under LMR, packers must report to the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) daily the prices they pay to procure cattle, and other information, including slaughter data for cattle harvested during a specified time period and with net prices, actual weights, dressing percentages, percent of beef grading Choice, and price ranges, and then AMS publishes the anonymized data. AMS publishes 24 daily and 20 weekly cattle reports each week. Weekly reports start Monday afternoon and end the next Monday morning. These reports cover time periods, regions, and activities and the data include actual cattle prices.
Further, packers report all original sale beef transactions in both volume and price through the Daily Boxed Beef Report. This data is reported twice daily, at 11:00 a.m. and at 3:00 p.m. Central Time. The morning report covers market activity since 1:30 p.m. of the prior business day until 9:30 a.m. of the current business day. The afternoon report is cumulative, including all market activity in the morning plus all additional transactions between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and is on the USDA DataMart website. The boxed beef report covers both individual beef item sales and beef cutout values and current volumes, both of which are derived from the individual beef item sales data.
Source: North American Meat Institute news release