USDA

The proposed rule is available from the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as www by clicking on “Federal Register.”
 Source: usda.com

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to begin rulemaking next week that very well could lead to “the most aggressive” remodeling of the Packers & Stockyards Act (PSA) since it was created in 1921.

The rule will be published on June 22 and will be directed toward making sure that the marketplace is fair and transparent and rewards contract growers and livestock producers for investment, labor and producing high-quality livestock and poultry, Vilsack said during a teleconference with trade reporters.
The rule, which is required by the 2008 Farm Bill and by the PSA itself, will provide a 60-day comment period.
Much of the rule addresses the consolidation and integration of production that Vilsack implicated has damaged the vibrancy of farming and rural communities.
Vilsack emphasized that the changes proposed in the rule are designed to protect producers and would prohibit packers from engaging in practices that USDA believes are anticompetitive if not collusive, such as favoring certain-sized producers and packer-to-packer buying.
In particular, the proposed rule will require that contracts be publicly available so producers entering into contracts can determine if they’re receiving terms that are consistent across substrates such as a region or an industry itself or fundamentally different from contracts offered other parties.
Vilsack said the issues that the rule addresses are not so much about demand and supply but for whom demand and supply “is working.” He said it’s about level playing fields so those who “work hard have a shot at success.”
He also emphasized that there are “a number of great companies” in the livestock packing and poultry industry “that do the right thing,” and the rule won’t really change how they conduct business. It’s the companies that don’t “play by the rules” that will be affected, he said.