July 2, 2022
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Cattle Contract Library Pilot Could Launch First of Next Year

A pilot cattle contract library could be up and running by the first of next year, according to the head of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The one-million-dollar pilot Congress funded in current year spending, is aimed at improving price transparency in cattle markets, thereby helping independent producers get a fairer price.

USDA Ag Marketing Service Chief Bruce Summers told Ranking Ag Appropriations Republican John Hoeven, the pilot could come online faster than planned.

Hoeven; “You say, launch in September of ’23, can you get it done before that? Summers: “Well, ’23 is when the money expires, we’re going to get the pilot up and running before that.” Hoeven: “So, when do you think you’re going to launch it?” Summers: “I hope by the first of the year.” Hoeven: “By the first of the year.” Hoeven: “By the first of the year, and then, you’ll be back to tell us how it’s going, right? How it’s going to work and how it’s going?” Summers: “I think that is the reason for a pilot.”

Summers agreed with Hoeven that the pilot could transition into a permanent contract library if Congress passes a controversial cattle marketing reform bill its now considering.

The permanent library is included the reform bill, lawmakers have just begun debating in hearings with producers and industry leaders and executives.

Summers says the pilot would help determine how contract pricing information is provided and how the permanent library’s funded.

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