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Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Increase Transparency in Cattle Pricing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and five other senators to introduce legislation to foster efficient markets while increasing competition and transparency among meat packers who purchase livestock directly from producers. This bill will require that a minimum of 50 percent of a meat packer’s weekly volume of beef slaughter be purchased on the open or spot market.


“Even before COVID-19 hit our country, we had serious concerns about price discrepancies in the cattle market,” said Rounds. “Cattle prices in South Dakota are affected by the average negotiated cash trade nationwide which has dropped dramatically over the past 15 years. The decrease in cash trades has reduced price discovery. In order to establish a fair cattle market for cattle producers, real, vigorous price discovery is needed. Our legislation will provide much-needed transparency to the cattle industry to make sure producers are paid fairly for their product. This is only one piece of what needs to be fixed in the cattle market, but it’s an important step forward.” 


“The lack of transparency in cattle pricing isn’t a new problem, but the negative effects of the fire in Holcomb, Kansas, and COVID-19 have highlighted the need for additional price transparency measures to ensure producers are getting a fair price for the hard work of raising cattle. Food doesn’t come from the grocery store, it comes from tens of thousands of farmers and independent producers who work day and night to ensure families across the country have an abundant supply of food. Independent producers deserve to be paid what their worth,” said Grassley.