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NFU Member: Livestock Market is Broken

by 5m Editor
29 June 2011, at 11:01am

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) member Dennis Jones testified before the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry this week over the current state of the livestock industry in the US. Jones is a fourth-generation family farmer from Bath, S.D. and is a member of a pork producer cooperative.

Mr Jones, who is a fourth-generation family farmer from Bath, South Dakota and is a member of a pork producer cooperative, provided several possible policy options to help livestock producers during difficult times.

“We are very pleased that Dennis could come in and share his story with the US Senate, giving lawmakers a firsthand account of his struggles in the livestock industry,“ said NFU President Roger Johnson.

“Concentration has left the livestock markets uncompetitive. The top four packers control 81 per cent of the beef market and 65 per cent of the hog market. That leaves producers like Dennis at a severe disadvantage, basically having to accept whatever price the packers give him for his livestock.“

“Implementing the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule would go a long ways towards ensuring that producers like Dennis can negotiate on a level playing field with large processors,“ said Mr Johnson. Mr Jones, who is a fourth-generation family farmer from Bath, South Dakota and is a member of a pork producer cooperative, provided several possible policy options to help livestock producers during difficult times.

“Beyond that, funding for conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) would help livestock producers install and maintain beneficial conservation practices. The Senate should also consider the implementation of a system of grain buffer stocks, similar to the petroleum reserve that we have, which would help flatten the large price spikes and would make livestock production more conducive to long-term investment.“