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Montana Ag Network: US Cattlemen’s Association brings priorities to DC

Posted at 10:11 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 12:11:50-04

BILLINGS – Market transparency and true price discovery are two important priorities of the US Cattlemen’s Association and members recently took this message to Washinton, DC.

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association board member Justin Tupper from St. Onge, South Dakota says USCA is working 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. 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,” Tupper said.

“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,” he continued.

“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.”

Tupper also told MTN News that price reporting is very important to ensuring transparency and true price discovery in the cattle marketplace.

During a recent fly-in to Washington, DC, discussions with members of Congress and Trump administration officials went very well.

“Confidentiality is a word we hear a lot out here…and it’s enough to drive anybody crazy and you have to work around it. But those are also some things that we’re trying to make some changes for,” Tupper said.

“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,” Tupper concluded.

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

With mandatory price reporting up for renewal in 2020, livestock organizations like the USCA will be working with Congress and the USDA to make sure this important program continues for livestock producers nationwide.

-Russell Nemetz reporting for MTN News