FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (September 11, 2015) – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to swiftly reauthorize Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting (MPR):
“NFU has long supported and was a central contributor to the creation of the important producer-oriented MPR law, particularly through its state divisions which passed similar reporting requirements before a national standard was created. We urge the Senate to pass a reauthorization bill to ensure producers have access to pricing data for their operations.
“MPR is a critical tool for ranchers across the country because it helps to address market failures caused by the high levels of concentration in livestock markets. NFU previously passed a special order of business at its annual convention, highlighting the importance of this law for transparency in the market place.
“MPR expires every five years, which gives Congress, USDA and stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy and usability of the law. In the past, stakeholders have come together and recommended changes based on consensus. Unfortunately, during this reauthorization cycle, the House passed a bill with little-to-no input from stakeholders.
“In the interim, NFU has continued to work tirelessly with other stakeholders to try and reach consensus on changes that would enhance the usability and the effectiveness of the data in MPR. Many stakeholders were unwilling to thoughtfully consider NFU’s recommendations, including making cattle reporting more similar to hog reporting by including scheduled cattle for delivery in reports, clarifying the definition for committed cattle to occur when the agreement is first made, and requiring weekly reporting of market concentration.
“While this is a missed opportunity to increase market transparency, mandatory price reporting is too essential to ranchers and must be reauthorized with no lapse in authority. NFU remains committed to pursuing changes through rulemaking to improve the usability of the data and increase the available data so ranchers have the best possible pricing data.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.