Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Georgia, said he was working with Republicans on a long-term extension of the price-reporting law, which was to expire on Sept. 30 but was extended through Dec. 3 by an omnibus spending resolution.
"Cash sales are a small portion of cattle sales, but spot prices are often the starting point for sales made under pricing agreements," Abbott notes. "Cattle activists say a larger volume of cash sales is needed to assure fair prices." Grassley's reauthorization bill "has been idled in the Senate Agriculture Committee since it was introduced in March."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who followed Grassley as a witness, said “The goal is to assure there is a fair price for producers,” while seeing that “as we try to provide greater transparency, we don’t necessarily sacrifice the benefits of the existing system in terms of efficiency.” USDA is working on three regulations on livestock marketing.