News

USDA to Reopen Obama-Era GIPSA Rules in 2019

USDA intends to reopen the rulemaking process known as “Farmer Fair Practices Rules.” That announcement was made by a Department of Justice attorney arguing on behalf of USDA in court last week.

During oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Organization for Competitive Markets, attorney Weili Shaw said USDA intends to put on its spring 2019 regulatory agenda the rulemaking process for Farmer Fair Practices, formerly known as the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

Last year Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced he would not move forward with an interim final rule of “Farmer Fair Practices Rules,” which was drafted in 2016 under the Obama administration that would have lowered the bar for producers of poultry and other livestock to sue the meatpacking or processing companies they contract with. Purdue’s decision was cheered by livestock groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council.

However, the decision to pull the plug on the Farmer Fair Practices rules were also unpopular with some, and led to the OCM lawsuit, filed last year on behalf of two poultry growers and a cattle rancher. OCM alleges that in withdrawing the final rule, USDA violated Congress’ mandate in the 2008 farm bill, which was to publish a regulation that laid out criteria around contracting practices by June 2010. OCM believes that without a reasonable explanation for doing so, the agency’s actions are “arbitrary and capricious.”

Last year U.S. Senators John Tester, (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), “vehemently” disagreed with USDA's decision on GIPSA. In a bipartisan letter to Secretary Perdue, Tester and Grassley slammed the agency's decision to withdraw two rules related to the Packers and Stockyards Act, commonly referred to as the "GIPSA rules."

"The industry has consolidated for decades into its current structure that enables a handful of companies to have extraordinary market power," Tester and Grassley wrote. "Recognizing that fact, Congress intentionally instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate new rules in the 2008 Farm Bill to ensure a better functioning marketplace for farmers and ranchers in the livestock and poultry industry."

The reopening of GIPSA rules leaves many industry groups uneasy as it is unclear what the scope of the rulemaking will be. USDA could start from scratch in developing new rules, or the agency could seek to finalize previous proposals.

ROSEAU, Minn. (AP) — Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland, a farmer from northern Minnesota who was tasked with selling President Jimmy Carter's unpopular Soviet Union grain embargo to oth

Soybean prices shot up Sunday night on news of a trade truce between the U.S. and China. That news came out of a dinner Saturday night between delegations from both countries, led by President Donald

  MANHATTAN, Kan. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach was welcomed to Great Bend, Kansas, on Monday, November 19, by beef industry lea

Antimicrobial Resistance or AMR occurs naturally in bacteria and AMR far predates human existence. However, AMR is a complicated issue and there are many factors that contribute to its development in

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still working through rates for the second round of the market facilitation program (MFP). That announcement is expected to come after December 3rd. There was pl

Scientists from USDA developed the tools to mass produce penicillin, which was used for treating wounded soldiers over 70 years ago during World War II. Antibiotics are still important in treating mic

The debate on lab-grown meats is still ongoing as several cattlemen’s groups had the chance to voice their apprehensions to two government agencies about labeling the products “beef” or “meat

JBS Tolleson, Inc., a division of JBS SA, is recalling 6.5 million pounds of “various raw, non-intact beef products” due to an outbreak of salmonella, USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS

USDA intends to reopen the rulemaking process known as “Farmer Fair Practices Rules.” That announcement was made by a Department of Justice attorney arguing on behalf of USDA in court last week.Du

For the fourth month straight the Cattle on Feed report eclipsed a monthly record with the September 1st feedlot inventory eclipsing 11.1 million head, an increase of 5.6% since the same time in 2017.