Report says government interference would cost beef producers 'billions'

Legislative watch: State of the livestock industry; USDA announces loan guarantee program; EPA ag advisor appointed.


P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

Oct 08, 2021


This week, Texas A&M University released a comprehensive report on the U.S. cattle and beef markets, "The U.S. Beef Supply Chain: Issues and Challenges," in which it found that proposals "increasing government intervention and mandates will cost livestock producers billions of dollars."


Regarding legislative proposals mandating a certain level of cash market purchases, Dr. Stephen Koontz of Colorado State University found that the short-term impact for a policy most like that being considered is a $2.5 billion negative impact in the first year and a cumulative negative impact of $16 billion over 10 years, inflated to 2021 dollars.


“This cost is leveled mainly on cattle producers,” said Koontz. “The 50/14 proposal would have these negative impacts and the 30/14 would have similar negative impacts albeit approximately halved.”


The report is a compilation of the proceedings from a workshop on cattle markets held in Kansas City, Mo. in June.


In 2020, the House Agriculture Committee sent a bipartisan leader to USDA asking that the department work with policy research centers to address the beef and cattle industries including structure, price discovery, price reporting, purchasing mandates, barriers to entry in the packing industry, etc.


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