The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said it’s not ready to back a cattle competition bill by House Ag Chair David Scott but adds the legislation is a much better starting point than the alternative.  While the NCBA opposes Senator Chuck Grassley’s Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, Tanner Beymer said they aren’t ready either to back Scott’s Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act either.

“There are a couple of blind spots, but it is a far more preferable product and is a much better starting position than is the Grassley-Fisher Bill.”

Which Beymer complains mandates regional negotiated cattle pricing, while Scott would boost funding for a popular livestock insurance program.  But Beymer pointed out, Scott’s cutoff for help is for cattlemen raising 100 or fewer head.

“It has certainly been a difficult couple of years for cattle producers in that category. But it has also been a difficult year for cattle producers who, for example, may raise or market between 101 and 250 head of cattle per year, which most of us in the cattle business would consider to also be small family producers.”

Chairman Scott said bills by his colleagues don’t stress direct help for small farmers and ranchers.  Scott’s bill would boost Livestock Risk Protection premium subsidies for small ranchers and create USDA indemnity and direct-to-consumer marketing programs.  Those would help to boost competition and offset large price spreads.

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