R-CALF, NFU want new USDA final Packers and Stockyards rule scrapped

Two groups say a new final rule published Friday (today) is bad for cattle and poultry producers.  USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach says the rule defines undue or unreasonable preferences or advantages under the Packers and Stockyards Act and clarify USDA’s enforcement mechanisms that ultimately work to benefit everyone in the supply chain.

R-CALF USA’s Bill Bullard tells Brownfield this new rule favors the packers and the USDA has put it in concrete, so they want the rule reversed or nullified. “What they did was provided the packers with several safe harbors, in other words, examples that the packers could use in defense of any allegation they had violated the act.”

Aaron Shier with National Farmers Union agrees. He says, “This final rule should be scrapped by the incoming administration and a new rule should be re-issued that lives up to the intent of the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect farmers.”

Shier says a new rule should prohibit retaliation against producers who speak out against packers or integrators, prohibit disadvantaging poultry producers by supplying lower-quality chicks or feed, and prohibit unreasonable differential treatment of smaller, low-volume producers.

Both R-CALF USA and Farmers Union say they will continue working to repeal this new rule.

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