New USDA Reports Aimed at Increasing Cattle Market Transparency

Brian German Dairy & Livestock, Industry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun producing two new USDA reports for the livestock industry. Beginning on August 9, industry members now have access to the new National Daily Direct Formula Base Cattle report. The National Weekly Cattle Net Price Distribution report has also become available as of August 10. Each of the resources is based on Livestock Mandatory Reporting information and is aimed at increasing transparency in the market.

USDA Reports

“During the past five years, stresses and disruptions caused by concentration in livestock markets have hurt producers, workers, and consumers, and highlighted vulnerabilities in America’s food system supply chain resiliency. Current negotiated cash cattle trade is approximately 30% less than it was in 2005, while formula transactions have increased at the same rate. Our new reports on formula transactions will bring needed clarity to the marketplace.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “Also, in the coming months, we plan to conduct several producer-focused outreach sessions to help producers and others understand how these data can inform real-world marketing decisions at farm, ranch, feedlot, and other points in the supply chain.”

The National Daily Direct Formula Base Cattle report provides greater detail on the prices that are used for market formulas and contracts. Industry members will be able to better understand the relationship between the negotiated trade and reported formula base prices. The base reports will include both national and regional information. The National Weekly Cattle Net Price Distribution report includes the volume of cattle that is purchased at the various pricing levels within those formulas and contracts.

The new USDA reports are part of the overall effort to promote and enhance competition within markets. Under an executive order from President Joe Biden, federal agencies are being tasked with increasing competition within the U.S. economy. USDA has already begun to implement other programs and initiatives aimed at bolstering competition within the food supply chain.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West