On April 2, 2001, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) implemented the LMR program as required by the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (1999 Act). The purpose of the 1999 Act was to establish a program of information regarding the marketing of cattle, swine, lambs, and the products of such livestock that provides information that can be readily understood by producers; improves the price and supply reporting services of the Department of Agriculture; and encourages competition in the marketplace for livestock and livestock products.
The statutory authority for the program lapsed on Sept. 30, 2005. At that time, AMS sent letters to all packers required to report under the 1999 Act, requesting they continue to submit information voluntarily. The packers’ cooperation has allowed USDA to publish most reports.
In October 2006, Congress enacted legislation to reauthorize the 1999 Act through Sept. 30, 2010 (Reauthorization Act), and to amend the swine reporting requirements of the 1999 Act. The Reauthorization Act separated the reporting requirements for sows and boars from barrows and gilts, among other changes. Because statutory authority for the program had lapsed, USDA had to re-establish regulatory authority through rulemaking in order to continue LMR operations.
On May 15, 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the final regulation to re-establish and revise the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program. This rule incorporated the swine reporting changes contained within the Reauthorization Act, as well as enhanced the program’s overall effectiveness and efficiency based on AMS’ experience in the administration of the program.
The LMR Final Rule appeared in the Federal Register on May 16, 2008 and became effective on July 15, 2008. This rule facilitates open, transparent price discovery and provides all market participants, both large and small, with comparable levels of market information for cattle, swine, sheep, beef, and lamb meat.
The 2008 Farm Bill directed USDA to conduct a study of the thin wholesale pork reporting, which was a voluntary reporting activity at the time. The Wholesale Pork Reporting report was released in November of 2009, which concluded that there would be some benefits from a mandatory pork reporting program.
The Farm Bill also directed USDA to improve the presentation and accessibility of LMR published information and to provide more outreach to help producers better understand the reported data. In response, AMS developed interactive data visualization tools, called dashboards, for cattle, beef, hogs, and lamb.
On September 27, 2010, the act was reauthorized through September 30, 2015, and added a provision for mandatory reporting of wholesale pork cuts. The 2010 Reauthorization Act directed the Secretary to engage in negotiated rulemaking to make required regulatory changes for mandatory wholesale pork reporting and establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop these changes.
The final rule was published on August 22, 2012, and the regulation was implemented on January 7, 2013.