Mandatory Price Reporting reauthorization begins with House Ag hearing

By Spencer Chase

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - As a Sept. 30 deadline approaches, industry representatives are unanimously calling for reauthorization of the mandatory price reporting (MPR) program they say is critical to meat producers and packers.

On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture discussed reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 1999, which created the MPR system governed by USDA. Under MPR, USDA requires price reporting of live animals, boxed beef and wholesale pork cuts and relays that information to the industry so producers and packers are aware of current market conditions.

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At the hearing, representatives from the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American Sheep Industry Association, and North American Meat Institute unanimously supported reauthorization of MPR. Representatives from the groups were also on hand to suggest changes to the program they would like to see considered.

In his opening statement at the hearing, Iowa cattle producer Ed Greiman said MRP is helpful when he brings his cattle to market.

“The market information supplied by MPR is valuable in that it gives me the ability to make informed decisions,” Greiman said in his opening statement. “MPR doesn't necessarily get me more money, but allows free access to information and fair trade.”

Different organizations had different ideas for changes sought during MPR reauthorization, but all seemed to be in agreement that the program should be deemed essential, preventing the loss of the data experienced in instances such as the government shutdown in October 2013.

Subcommittee Chair David Rouzer, R-N.C., said organizational input will be critical to this reauthorization because “no one knows how to make this process work better than those directly involved.”

“It is vital to have industry groups work together to find the best solution,” Rouzer said in a release. “As the committee works on reauthorizing the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, it is the goal and intent of our committee to bring all parties together and strike a balance that promotes fairness, transparency, and stability in the market.”

Rouzer noted the subcommittee will likely move quickly on MPR reauthorization and a bill could be expected before the end of the month.

“As consensus is reached,” Rouzer said, “the committee will prepare draft bill text to be circulated among members with the intent to post that legislation for public review later this week or early next week.”

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