Grassley continues effort to fix ‘broken’ cattle market


Grassley continues effort to fix ‘broken’ cattle market

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley continues to call for a Senate Ag Committee hearing on his bill, co-sponsored by Montana Senator Jon Tester, requiring beef packers to buy 50 percent of their total cattle purchases on the cash market.

Speaking Tuesday on the Senate floor, Grassley said the cattle market is “broken”.

“The fact is that, without a mandated amount of cash trade, independent producers become residual suppliers and then lack the leverage to fairly negotiate with packing companies,” Grassley said.

He says Senate Ag Committee chair Pat Roberts of Kansas is fighting the Grassley-Tester “50/14” bill.  Grassley told reporters it will likely take a “grassroots uprising” to overcome Roberts’ opposition to the bill.

“Just a massive uproar from the grassroots of the Midwest, where this has the most support,” he said.

Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association recently agreed to give a working group until October 1st to come up with a voluntary plan to increase the percentage of negotiated cash trade. Some NCBA state affiliates, including the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, say if that efforts fails, they will resume their push for a cash trade mandate.

AUDIO: Excerpt from Grassley’s conference call with ag reporters

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