(Brownfield Network) – The USDA has rolled out its final rule to stand up the Cattle Contract Library pilot program.
Tanner Beymer with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the USDA updated the language to the rule-following stakeholder feedback. The original proposed rule would have allowed the USDA to obtain all active contracts from packers, which the industry thought was problematic from a privacy perspective. “This rule has announced that they are going to look for the information that is in those contracts,” he says. “But they are going to acquire it through the summary report, which is very similar to other functions of livestock mandatory reporting.”
He tells Brownfield NCBA is optimistic the pilot program will find the appropriate balance between offering cattle producers insight into the market and protecting proprietary business information. “What is confidential and a term of trade that is unique to one party to a contract has to remain unique to them,” he says. “In order for them to remain competitive in an open marketplace setting. Keeping that fine line is very important.”
The Library will be housed on the USDA’s website and will be unveiled in early January.
Beymer says NCBA has invited USDA officials to update cattlemen on the program during its upcoming Cattle Industry Convention, which takes place in early February.