May 18, 2007
May 18, 2007 - Sens. Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi, both representing Wyoming, are urging the Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to speed up the process for implementing a law that is critical for transparency in livestock markets.
Thomas, Enzi and seven other senators sent a letter to Johanns on Monday asking that rules to implement the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) Act, signed into law on Oct. 5, 2006, be accelerated to help level the playing field in the access to information for livestock producers.
"Under the LMR Act, packers, processors and importers are required to report critical market data to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is then calculated, published and made available to the industry. The reported prices and other information have become an integral part of setting prices paid for livestock in the United States, both under contracts and in the open market," the senators wrote. "?until an interim final rule or final rule is published, the mandatory reporting system will remain a voluntary program. We ask that you expedite this process and publish an interim final rule without delay."
Other supporters expediting the rulemaking process include Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Byron Dorgan (Neb.), Charles Grassley (Iowa), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Ben Nelson (Neb.).
This legislation is extremely important to the U.S. sheep industry since no imported lamb prices have been reported since this rule lapsed. To the credit of the American firms, they have largely continued to report voluntarily using the mandatory reporting system. Reprinted in part from CattleNetwork.com