Daines seeks fair market treatment in America’s livestock industry


By Ripon Advance News Service (DC)

September 12, 2019


U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) wants assurances from the administration that price-fixing and market manipulation have not occurred following a major fire in August at a market-leading Kansas beef processing plant.


The fire destroyed the Tyson Foods plant in Holcomb, Kan., which operated at roughly 6,000 head of cattle per day representing some 6 percent of the total U.S. fed cattle processing capacity, according to a Sept. 10 letter written by Sen. Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue.


The lawmakers said that the subsequent loss of a major buyer in the market corresponded with a decline in cattle prices and an increase in profit margins for packers “that is having a substantial impact on the livelihoods of ranchers and related businesses across Montana.”


“Additionally, the uncertainty that has been created exacerbates the existing challenges facing ranchers and the livestock industry, whether it be cattle prices, natural disasters, disease, or market access issues,” the lawmakers wrote.


In their letter, Sen. Daines...