Ranchers Testimony Included in Senate Hearing Record on Cattle MarketsThu, 15 Jul 2021 08:53:20 CDT
Today, R-CALF USA received confirmation that its written testimony, submitted on behalf of its cattle farming and ranching members, has been accepted into the official hearing record for the June 23 U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s hearing on Examining Markets, Transparency, and Prices from Cattle Producers to Consumers.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said his group’s written comments are intended to supplement the testimonies and answers provided during the hearing by witnesses Justin Tupper and Dr. Mary Hendrickson.
“Both Mr. Tupper and Dr. Hendrickson provided exceptional oral testimony and answers that made the compelling case that Congress must act decisively to end the ongoing exploitation of both cattle producers and consumers caused by America’s dysfunctional cattle and beef markets,” he said.”
He explained that while concentrated markets and lack of market transparency were focal points during the hearing, R-CALF USA’s testimony points out that the globalization of input supply chains along with the concentration of the beef packing sector are the industry’s two deep-rooted problems that must be corrected.
The testimony states that global input supply chains amplify the impacts of beef packer concentration by stunting the domestic industry’s opportunities to expand, which explains why the U.S. cattle industry is continually unable to produce enough beef to meet domestic consumption.
The group’s testimony also asserts the packing industry’s claim that the 2015 cattle price collapse was caused by increased cattle inventories following historically low inventories of 2014 defies fact and logic.
But if it were true that the “30% decline in fed cattle prices across 2015 was caused by increased cattle supply, we would expect to see both high slaughter volumes and low prices, not continuing low slaughter volumes and drastically low prices,” wrote R-CALF USA.
In December, R-CALF USA issued the first-ever Cattle Industry Long Range Plan, which Bullard said was used to formulate his group’s testimony and provides a comprehensive blueprint for what steps both Congress and the Administration can and should take to restore a prosperous cattle production sector in the United States.
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