Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Proposed U.S. Cattle Rules More Bull For Canadians?

(Winnipeg Free Press)

Canadian livestock producers are in the unenviable position of being bystanders in yet another policy debate south of the border that could directly affect their futures.

The United States is Canada’s biggest market for exports of live cattle and hogs and when politicians there decided to move forward with country of origin labelling rules, farmers here took a direct hit on their bottom line -- either through reduced marketing opportunities or lower prices.

The latest debate is over new regulations proposed by the U.S. Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). The effects on Canada are less clear.

The new regulations, which are open to public comment, are designed to increase transparency in U.S. cattle markets. They would require a packer, contractor or live-poultry dealer to maintain written records to justify differential pricing offered to producers. Read more here.