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USDA protects poultry farmers with Farm Bill provisions

The USDA has published the Final Rule implementing the 2008 Farm Bill provisions to better protect livestock producers and poultry growers under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced.

"As I travel throughout the countryside, I often hear from farmers and ranchers about their concerns with the marketplace becoming more concentrated," Vilsack said. "While concentration certainly comes with some efficiencies, Congress recognised in the 2008 Farm Bill that additional protections for producers are warranted. Today's rule will implement these targeted protections and help provide more fairness and transparency in the marketplace."

The provisions being finalised by the Department were required by the 2008 Farm Bill and have been modified from the June 22, 2010 proposed rule. These sections include criteria the Secretary may consider when determining whether a live poultry dealer has provided reasonable notice to poultry growers of any suspension of the delivery of birds, when determining whether a requirement of additional capital investments over the life of a poultry growing arrangement or swine production contract constitutes a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act and when determining if a packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer has provided a reasonable period of time for a grower to remedy a breach of contract that could lead to termination of a production contract.

The rule also includes a section requiring contracts that require the use of arbitration to include language on the signature page that allows the producer or grower to decline arbitration and provides criteria the Secretary may consider when determining if the arbitration process provided in a contract provides a meaningful opportunity for growers and producers to participate fully in the arbitration process.

The Department also planned to seek additional public comment on several other revised provisions from the June 22, 2010 proposed rule including changes to the tournament system of payment for poultry growers, requirements to collect and post sample contracts and to address the issue of need for producers to show harm to competition prior to asserting a violation of the Packer and Stockyards Act. However, the FY2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill passed by Congress included language prohibiting the Department from moving forward on these important provisions. Despite this setback, USDA and the Obama Administration remain committed to promoting a fair and transparent marketplace.

Source: USDA

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One comment

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    TomT

    These rules are the equivalent to telling Bernie Madoff that all his past frauds are forgiven and he has a $50,0000 limit per person fraud in the future (with a bunch of loopholes to avoid that limit).
    Personally, I think the 50,000 is an automatic industry give away. If this was the starting point of whether economic holdup could happen, then the companies automatically have a 50,000 free be on the farmer's dime. I personally could care less what "upgrades" these companies came up with to be competitive in the market place. My problem was they were MAKING their family farmer "partners" pay for these costs and not giving them the rewards from the market. In essence all of these family farmers become an automatic lender to these giant corporations who use it to extract value from the growers and put the benefits in their column of either advancement with respect to their competitors or pocket profits. Did Bernie Madoff have a $50,000 freebee with his investors? Does each stock broker have $50,000 worth of fraud they can commit per person before they are held accountable?

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