Sen. Grassley says Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts is blocking his cattle bill

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley called out Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts for obstructing progress on his bill supporting cattle producers.

Roberts had told the Senator he was considering the legislation, but when other colleagues brought the matter up, their request was declined. Sen. Grassley says that the bill is intended to change the way slaughter contracts are negotiated.

Because 80 percent of the slaughter in the U.S. is from pre-negotiated contracts, it leaves behind independent producers. According to Grassley, 50 percent of the people in Iowa and Nebraska are independent and some are losing up to $40 per head.

The measure, which was proposed alongside U.S. Senator from Montana John Tester, would require packers moving more than 125,000 head per year to buy half of their cattle on the spot market.

“Reason that hasn’t happened is because the four producers who have 80 percent of the slaughter capacity in this country, they are powerful forces,” Grassley said, “but I would think that the Chairman of the Agricultural Committee would see the needs of the family farmer.”