NCBA and R-CALF react to USDA’s cattle and beef market report


NCBA and R-CALF react to USDA’s cattle and beef market report

USDA’s report on cattle and beef market movements in the aftermath of the Tyson Holcomb fire and the COVID-19 pandemic did contain any specific charges or allegations against meatpackers.

But National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Colin Woodall says it’s not the end of the discussion.

“The Department of Justice is actively investigating the entire situation as we speak,” Woodall says. “They have subpoenaed information from the packers. They are talking to cattle feeders and other market participants within the beef supply chain. So there could be more out of this.”

R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard says the report helps lay the groundwork for the DOJ investigation.

“It provides a basis upon which to ask the most important question now, ‘how did the price disruptions that are reported in the report, what caused them to occur,’” Bullard says.

Woodall says they were pleased that USDA made several recommendations to improve price discovery and increase competition.

“Especially in regard to things such as packing capacity and USDA’s mandatory price reporting that we can start working on now to try to help mitigate future black swan events,” Woodall says

Bullard hopes the report leads to changes in the industry.

“This is the start. This begins to lay the foundation that is absolutely essential if we’re going to impart the reforms upon our industry to give independent cattle producers a competitive marketplace in which to market their cattle,” Bullard says.

Woodall says the report and recommendations will be helpful and timely as NCBA members gather for their summer business meeting in Denver next week.  

AUDIO: Colin Woodall
AUDIO: Bill Bullard