Naig, Godfrey: Transparency, Fairness Key to Success of the Cattle Market

DES MOINES, Iowa (July 23, 2020) - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association President Dick Godfrey issued the following statement on the Boxed Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

“The USDA report highlights the need for increased price discovery and transparency in the cattle marketplace,” said Secretary Naig. “Transparency and fairness are essential to a healthy and competitive market. I will continue to work with Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and our congressional delegation to ensure that these recommendations are given fair consideration during the reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting act.”

“The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association remains steadfast in our decision to request a legislative or regulatory fix to address how cattle are purchased regionally and at the plant level. Meatpacking entities must participate in the negotiated cash market to provide robust price discovery and competition for the beef cattle industry,” said Godfrey. “Furthermore, the information provided in USDA’s report affirms our request for a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing in advance of Livestock Mandatory Reporting reauthorization in September 2020.” 

The Boxed Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report, prepared by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb plant. The report also summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report did not examine potential violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

The entire report can be found here.

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616           
Keely.Coppess@IowaAgriculture.gov