Farm Bureau urges close examination of livestock markets


Due to volatility in livestock markets raising red flags around the country, the American Farm Bureau has urged the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to make sure no stone is unturned as these markets are analyzed and monitored.

AFBF president Zippy Duvall applauded the USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to expand an investigation into the markets.

“The level of frustration with market volatility among livestock producers has never been higher,” he said. “I applaud Secretary Perdue for his commitment to expand USDA’s investigation. It won’t bring back lost income for producers, but it will help to restore confidence in our pricing system.”

Duvall spoke to both Perdue and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert expressing the concern and frustration among livestock producers.

“We believe an intense examination of the volatility in cash and futures markets for beef, pork and dairy is needed to determine if any market manipulations have occurred to the financial detriment of farmers and ranchers… the disparity between the farm-level prices that producers receive and wholesale prices is alarming,” Duvall writes in a letter to Tarbert. “We cannot afford to lose confidence in the integrity of the futures market nor the price discovery efforts in cash markets, on top of the many other market disruptions and stresses farmers and ranchers are facing.”