Texas A&M release study highlighting three key areas of livestock markets: concentration, fed cattle pricing, and capacity

A House Ag hearing will take an unusual twist tomorrow, when a Senator becomes a star witness.

Senator Chuck Grassley will testify on livestock markets and his ongoing effort to make significant changes.

The panel will then hear from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, and five other witnesses. That will be the fourth congressional hearing on cattle markets this year, and it will come two days after Texas A&M released a study at the request of House ag lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The 200 page report focuses on three key areas: concentration, fed cattle pricing, and capacity.

Here are some key takeaways. In terms of concentration, the authors note alternative marketing arrangements only have a minimal impact, because they do not create market power, nor do they change the fundamentals of supply and demand.

In regards to fed cattle markets, the study notes mandatory minimums or negotiated transactions could have unintended consequences, resulting in huge costs passed down to producers. As for capacity, the authors say that expanding small facilities should be done in a way that is sustainable and viable. They note that the industry is cyclical and decline in capacity happened over decades.


Sec. Vilsack: now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to level the playing field of the cattle/beef sector