NCBA's Lane: Proposed PSA Rule Threatens Profitability

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 2024 — A proposed rule has met vehement opposition by cattle trade groups, including the NCBA, while the USDA seeks to define conduct and unfair practices prohibited by the Packers and Stockyards Act.

NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane said the newly proposed rule is an attack on profitability and the free market.

“Creating an environment where however the political winds are blowing today, that’s what we’re going to go after and you can’t write rules that way,” Lane said. “Businesses can’t rely on that, they can’t operate, they can’t grow, they can’t build business relationships when you’ve got this underlying fear that you make a deal with another business to buy cattle or do whatever in the economy and the people who didn’t get that business then are able to say wait a minute, they didn’t pick me so there’s clearly anti-competitive behavior afoot. It’s a really slippery slope and a dangerous path to go down as far as stifling the innovation our industry has worked so hard to build over the last couple of decades.”

One of the problems, Lane said, is the potential for squelching innovation.

“Success in this business is not making sure my neighbor doesn’t make any more money than me, success in this business is making sure I have the flexibility as a producer to follow that path of innovation, or follow that path of chasing premiums or quality or the next business relationship in a way that makes sense for my operation.”

Lane said combining poultry and cattle production under the proposed rule is another issue given the stark differences in the supply chains.

The American Farm Bureau has formally requested an additional 30 days of comment given the complexities of the proposed rule. The comment period on the federal register remains open until August 27 at

Source: Western Ag Network