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Montana Ag Network: U.S. Cattlemen’s Association advocating for cattle producers

Posted at 11:03 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 13:03:26-04

BILLINGS – Market transparency and true price discovery are two priorities of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, which recently took that message to the nation’s Capitol.

Board member Justin Tupper from St. Onge, South Dakota said the USCA works hard to strengthen the bottom line of cattlemen and cattlewomen nationwide.

“Some of the things that we’re definitely working on are some changes to the CME,” said Tupper. “We’d sure like to see the grading system changed. Our cattle have gotten a lot better. The percentages are a lot higher. So, that’s one thing in the price reporting side. We’d like to see that there’s a label for non-native cattle. We’d love to get that as a provision in there so we would at least designate what non-native cattle are. So, in price reporting they’re buying some non-native cattle for a $1.15 and we have some fat cattle up in the northern tier that we think are premium that we can hold out for a little more money instead of take the same as some of those non-native cattle.”

He added mandatory price reporting is important to ensuring transparency and true price discovery in the cattle marketplace. During a recent fly-in to Washington, D.C., discussions with members of Congress and Trump administration officials went very well.

Tupper said confidentiality is a word USCA members hear often.

“But those are also some things that we’re trying to make some changes for. Once we got up to the Hill, I think when you explain it, it’s very complex when you get into some of this reporting and some of these issues the groundswell is really good. I think there’s a lot of people believe that we need a few tweaks in the reporting. I think people believe it’s important, but we also have to make sure that there’s integrity in the numbers we get,” he said.

With the recent increase in corn prices, cattlemen and cattlewomen are watching the markets more closely to see what effects higher feed prices will have on their bottom line.

Mandatory price reporting is up for renewal in 2020 and livestock organizations like the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association will work with Congress and the USDA to make sure the program continues for livestock producers nationwide.

 By Russell Nemetz – MTN News