The Department of Agriculture said last week it will require meat packers to report cattle purchases made through an online auction platform. Politico reports the move is an effort to bring more transparency to pricing following the May launch of the Fed Cattle Exchange, an online cattle auction site. Starting Wednesday, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will start including these transactions in weekly price reports. The price reports are used by companies like Tyson Foods and Cargill to determine prices to pay ranchers for animals. USDA noted participation in the cash slaughter market has declined significantly since 2010, as the industry uses more forward contracts to sell cattle. That makes it difficult to determine prices, justifying the move to require online sales reporting.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.