USDA Prepares Report on Livestock Mandatory Reporting; Invites Stakeholders to Participate

September 14, 2016

In the 2015 reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) Act, Congress assigned USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) the task of conducting a study regarding the marketing of livestock and meat products covered by the LMR program.  This study is to be conducted in conjunction with USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist and in consultation with cattle, swine, and lamb producers, packers, and other market participants.

According to the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015 Title I, Section 104, the study shall:

  • analyze current marketing practices in the cattle, swine, and lamb markets;
  • identify legislative or regulatory recommendations made by cattle, swine, and lamb producers, packers, and other market participants to ensure that information provided under the program—
  • can be readily understood by producers, packers, and other market participants;
  • reflects current marketing practices; and
  • is relevant and useful to producers, packers, and other market participants;
  • analyze the price and supply information reporting services of USDA related to cattle, swine, and lamb; and
  • address any other issues that the Secretary considers appropriate.

By March 1, 2018, USDA will submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report containing the findings of this study.

As a first step in this process, AMS commissioned a baseline “as is” study of the livestock and meat industry and LMR by Value Ag, Inc. [Dr. Joe Parcell, Dr. Ted Schroeder, and Dr. Glynn Tonser], which was recently completed.  A copy of that report is available online.

Next, AMS plans to bring members of the industry together in a series of structured stakeholder meetings to openly discuss the marketing methods and current challenges with reporting livestock and meat markets, and the needs of the industry regarding future revisions to LMR.  All meetings will be facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).  The goal of these meetings is to reach consensus on what each commodity area would like changed in the next reauthorization of LMR.  This information is necessary for AMS to prepare a consensus report to present to Congress by March 1, 2018.  This industry consensus report will serve as a useful body of information for Congress to consider and use as the basis of an orderly reauthorization of LMR in 2020.

AMS has scheduled the first meeting for November 15-16, 2016, in the greater Washington, DC, area.  For this meeting, national livestock and meat industry associations representing cattle, swine, and lamb producers, as well as meat processors and other market participants, are welcome to participate.  The purpose of this initial meeting is to lay the groundwork for the subsequent commodity meetings by clarifying the goals and objectives, establishing the ground rules for the meetings, participating in consensus training, providing an overview of current LMR reporting and audit processes, and confirming the dates for the subsequent species/commodity specific meetings.

AMS plans to conduct separate species/commodity specific meetings for the following three commodity groups – cattle and beef; swine and pork; and sheep, lamb, and imported lamb.  These meetings will be held starting in February or March 2017 after many of the trade associations have held their respective annual meetings and conventions and gathered input from their membership.  AMS will work to create a balance of stakeholder opinions at each species/commodity specific meeting to provide the consensus report that will assist Congress during the next LMR reauthorization.

If you represent a national organization interested in participating in these stakeholder meetings, please contact Michael Lynch, Director of the Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division by September 26, 2016, at


Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program