Miss. Senator Welcomes Senate Ag Committee Examination of Unfair Practices in Cattle Markets

062321 Ag Cattle Market
VIDEO:  Senator Hyde-Smith Calls for Solutions to Cattle Market Volatility.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today called for solutions as the Senate Agriculture Committee conducted a hearing to examine persistent volatility problems within cattle markets, as evidenced through “rock bottom prices for fed cattle, yet sky-high prices for boxed beef.”

Hyde-Smith highlighted constituent concerns, legislative solutions, mandated livestock reporting standards, and COVID-19 supply chain issues as the committee conducted a hearing titled, “Examining Markets, Transparency, and Prices from Cattle Producer to Consumer.”

“I am pleased that this committee has decided we need to discuss price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition, and other unfair practices in cattle markets,” Hyde-Smith said.  “What we’ve been seeing in the cattle markets – rock bottom prices for fed cattle, yet sky-high prices for boxed beef – defies the basic laws of economics, supply and demand.  We need some solutions.  We need answers and we need to act on this.”

“I’m getting hundreds of calls from beef cattle producers, who are saying, ‘Cindy, what is wrong with this market?’  They are seeing the prices they’re getting and seeing the prices at the grocery story with boxed beef,” she said.  “We have a lot of producers who are being treated very unfairly right now, and it is time for that to stop.”

The Mississippi Senator recommended the committee’s consideration of the findings of a Cattle Market Working Group organized in April 2020 by American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.
“The findings and suggestions that resulted from the working group’s research are quite informative, and should be taken into consideration,” Hyde-Smith said. 

Five witnesses testified at the hearing to provide cattle sector perspectives on ongoing challenges and proposals to ensure fair competition.