Lincoln, Chambliss announce Senate passage of Mandatory Price Reporting reauthorization

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Aug. 6 – Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Ranking Member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) announced Friday that the Senate has passed the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act (S. 3656). The legislation will extend reporting requirements of livestock daily markets for five years. The bipartisan bill, passed by unanimous consent, has matching House legislation, H.R.5852.

“As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’m proud to report that the Senate has successfully passed this legislation that will better maintain transparency and certainty in our livestock markets,” Lincoln said. “This effort will ensure that family farmers and Arkansas ranchers can remain confident that they are receiving fair market value for their livestock they have worked tirelessly to bring to the market.”

“Mandatory reporting has proven to be a valuable tool for the livestock industry,” said Sen. Chambliss. “The Senate Agriculture Committee worked to reauthorize the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act in 2006, and I am pleased the Senate has approved this important legislation to ensure continued transparency and improve openness in the marketplace.”

The legislation calls for Mandatory Reporting of Wholesale Pork (MRWP) cuts in order to expand transparency to the pork industry and further protect producers, and also instructs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish within one year an electronic price reporting system for dairy products.

Advocates for reauthorization praised the Senate’s efforts, calling the victory an important step toward enhancing transparency and competitiveness for the industry.

“I really appreciate Senator Lincoln’s leadership on this very important piece of legislation,” said Buddy Smith, an Arkansas Cattle Producer and manager of Lewis Livestock Market in Conway, AR. “By passing this legislation, she has ensured a fair and open market place so all industry partners will have a level playing field.”

“Farm Bureau appreciates the efforts of Chairman Lincoln and Ranking Member Chambliss to reauthorize the Mandatory Price Reporting law which provides necessary transparency in livestock pricing information critical to producers' marketing opportunities,” said American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman.

“As a producer of high quality beef for a growing global population, I appreciate Senator Lincoln’s efforts to help continue the availability of timely and accurate market information for U.S. cattle producers,” said Bruce Hafenfeld, a California-based cattle producer and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Policy Division Chair. “By reauthorizing Mandatory Price Reporting, cattle producers will continue to have access to daily price and volume information on purchases of cattle and boxed beef sales as well as export and import data. This effort to enhance transparency in the marketplace is a definite win for every aspect of the industry.”

"Given current economic instability, reauthorization of mandatory price reporting is vital to U.S. farmers and ranchers to provide market tools essential to the livestock sector,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. “NFU supports the language included that would aid in the dairy crisis, providing for more certainty and transparency in the volatile marketplace. NFU commends the leadership of Sen. Lincoln on this issue.”

“We are very pleased that the Agriculture Committee approved legislation reauthorizing the mandatory price reporting law,” said National Pork Producers Council President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, IA. “The addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions.”

“The Mandatory Price Act will allow USDA to collect and report pricing data electronically, leading to important improvements in the efficiency and transparency of the dairy industry,” said Connie Tipton of the International Dairy Foods Association.

“NMPF has been working since 2000 to improve the open, transparent discovery of dairy prices, but we’ve been frustrated by the stumbling blocks that have prevented the implementation of mandatory reporting,” said National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jerry Kozak. “These bills make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the USDA will have to do what it takes to establish dairy price reporting.”

“We appreciate Chairman Blanche Lincoln’s leadership to secure legislation that will ensure reporting continues, to avoid the situation where not everyone was reporting accurately is critical to our industry,” said American Sheep Industry President Glen Fisher.

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