Congress Passes Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Extension

Senate passes one-year extension, House approves five-year reauthorization.

Published on: Sep 14, 2005

Congress passed legislation this week extending livestock mandatory price reporting for one year.

Tuesday, the Senate passed by unanimous consent S. 1613, extending Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting – for one year past this month's Sept 30 expiration. Wednesday the House, by voice vote, accepted HR 3408 to reauthorize the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 and to amend the swine reporting provisions of that Act – for five years.

The Chairmen of the Senate and House Ag Committees will confer on addressing the differences in the two versions of the bill.

The Livestock Price Reporting Act requires packers, processors, and importers to provide critical price, contracting, supply and demand information to the USDA, which uses the information to create price reports for livestock producers.

The three swine reporting provisions that were amended include:
• Including additional sows in the Mandatory Price Reporting System to more accurately reflect the sales and prices paid in the sow market.
• Altering report timing for data reporting to even out USDA workload to increase report accuracy and efficiency.
• Enabling USDA to publish price distributions for net prices, to provide more useful information than is currently provided by the price ranges specified in the current law, while maintaining current confidentiality requirements.

The authority for Livestock Mandatory Reporting will expire on September 30 and a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study requested by Iowa Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley is expected to be released later this year. "The fact that this legislation passed without objection shows the need to wait for the GAO report before proceeding. This gives us an opportunity to take a good, hard look at the report and then make any necessary changes to the original law," Grassley says.

Last year, Harkin and Grassley requested a GAO investigation into the accuracy of reported prices by USDA. The legislation passed by the Senate would extend mandatory price reporting for one year and will allow changes in the law to be made following the results of the GAO study.