Cattle and beef markets over the past year have stamped a whipsaw of price trends on the history of our industry. This has sparked a healthy dialogue on the topic of fed cattle price discovery, focusing a spotlight on issues that have long been discussed.
By now, many cattlemen are familiar with the “50/14” legislation introduced in Congress in May by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (and others) plus a more recent companion bill in the House brought forward by Iowa Representatives Axne, Finkenauer and Loebsack.
The broad strokes of these proposals would require some beef packing firms to purchase at least 50% of their daily harvested head count in the spot market with a harvest date no longer than 14 days.
Stakeholder opinions are divided as to whether or not such a law would be effective in creating more efficient price discovery. Here at the Certified Angus Beef ® brand we’ll not profess to know the best answers to these questions.
We are, however, passionate and certain that beef demand has been recaptured and strengthening in most recent decades due to enhanced product quality. This wouldn’t have happened without financial incentives to focus on genetics and management toward improved consumer satisfaction.