The House of Representatives this week approved the Mandatory Price Reporting Act in a voice vote. The bill, which covers livestock and dairy, now will go to President Obama's desk for his signature.
The act reauthorizes mandatory price-reporting programs for the livestock industry for five years. For dairy, the bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an electronic reporting system not later than one year following the bill's enactment. The legislation does not expand the frequency or coverage of current mandatory dairy product price surveys, but it does direct the Secretary to publish the information in a more timely manner. It must now be published two days earlier, by 3:00 p.m. Eastern time each Wednesday instead of 8:30 p.m. Eastern time each Friday.
IDFA supported the legislation along with the National Milk Producers Federation in a joint letter sent last month to Congressional leaders. Although the 2008 Farm Bill authorized electronic reporting subject to the availability of funding at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA has never had adequate funding to implement a fully modern and electronic price- reporting system.
"More frequent dairy product price reporting has been advocated by some dairy producer groups, but IDFA does not support this as long as the government continues to regulate monthly milk prices under the Federal Milk Marketing Order pricing system," said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs.
The Mandatory Price Reporting Act had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. According to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), "The transparent, timely and accurate market information provided by mandatory price-reporting programs is a vital and necessary tool for agriculture producers."
For more information, contact Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org.