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Final rule for the AMS Cattle Contracts Library

published: January 9th 2023
by: Brenda Boetel
source: University of Wisconsin-River Falls

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule needed to create a Cattle Contracts Library. The final rule requires packers that slaughtered an average of not less than five percent of the number of fed cattle slaughtered nationally during the immediately preceding five calendar years to submit contractual information for the purchase of cattle.

      The Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program (library) is intended to increase market transparency for cattle producers. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held listening sessions and conducted a pilot program, which was then used to develop a working library model. Once the final rule goes into effect on Jan. 6, 2023 the AMS will collect, maintain, and report aggregated information on contracts between packers and cattle producers for the purchase of fed cattle. The library will include different types of contracts and contract terms. Information will include schedules or premiums and discounts, delivery and transportation terms and payments, number of head purchased under contracts, appendices and agreements of financing, risk-sharing or profit sharing or other supplement information on cattle requirements. It is expected that the working Pilot will not be available to the public until early 2023.

      The Pilot is modeled on the Swine Contract Library, which features a summary report of the public on contract terms available to producers and a monthly report. AMS believes the Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program will support competition by providing producers with the market information they need to make informed production, marketing, and business decisions.

      Information on the Cattle Contract Library is available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/market-news/livestock-poultry-grain/cattle-contracts-library.

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