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Packer Ownership Prohibition

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Tommy

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OCM: Packer Ownership Prohibition Would Increase Number of Independent Producer and Revitalize Rural Communities

Lincoln, NE ~ The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) today applauded the introduction of legislation that would ban packer ownership of livestock in the U.S. Keith Mudd, OCM president, said the measure is a "much needed remedy to check vertical integration, restore competition to markets and breath new life into our rural economy."

U.S. Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the bi-partisan bill. Co-sponsors include Senators Dorgan (D-ND), Dayton (D-MN), Enzi (R-WY), Harkin (D-IA), Thune (R-SD) and Johnson (D-SD).

"America’s independent livestock producers are dwindling because they cannot earn sustainable profits in today’s concentrated markets. Captive supplies have proven to be a formidable tool for corporate agri-businesses that want to influence markets," noted Mudd. "The statistics cannot be argued. Four meat packers control more than 80% of a multi-billion dollar industry. States that have passed packer ownership prohibitions have recorded remarkable increases in both production and marketing levels. In states where producers are forced to sell their livestock into anti-competitive markets, rural communities are withering and producers are leaving the land. It’s time for Congress to implement this legislation on a national basis."

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Nebraska, where packer ownership prohibition is state law, feedlots with 1000 head or more capacity have increased by 16% in recent years. Nebraska has also posted a 4.5% increase in the number of livestock marketed.

In Texas, where packer ownership prohibition legislation does not exist, there has been a three percent decrease in 1000 head or more capacity feedlots during the same time frame.

The State of Iowa remains the number one hog producing state in America despite the passage of packer ownership legislation.

Senator Salazar cited surveys conducted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture which show steady declines in the cattle inventory across his home state. In 2004 Colorado reported the lowest inventory of cattle since 1962. In 2002, 60 percent of farms and ranches in Colorado had annual sales of less than $10,000.

A new study indicates that control over the cattle markets by four major meat packers in the U.S. has increased to 82%. "This legislation will prohibit packers from owning, feeding or controlling livestock for more than seven days prior to slaughter," commented Mudd. "This dramatically increases options for ranchers and farmers to get fairer prices for their livestock while adding transparency to markets."

Packer ownership provisions were included in the Senate-passed version of the 2002 farm bill. These provisions were opposed in the U.S. House of Representatives and subsequently were not included in the final farm bill.

"OCM will urge the House Agriculture Committee to hold hearings on this legislation," said Mudd. "We will be urging expedited passage of this important bill in both chambers of Congress in order to revitalize Rural America and restore competitive markets for America’s livestock producers."
 

HAY MAKER

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Good post Tommy,you already know my feelings on the CAPTIVE SUPPLY REFORM .................good luck
 

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