Nebraska Farm Bureau Pushing Cattle Market Investigation

LINCOLN- The Nebraska Farm Bureau is encouraging the U.S. Department of Justice to undertake a “full investigation” to monitor and address any potential price fixing or market manipulations in U.S. cattle markets to ensure the cattle meat packing industry is in compliance with the federal antitrust laws targeted to maintaining a competitive marketplace.

In a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson pointed to the alarming disparity between farm-level prices received by farmers and ranchers for cattle and wholesale prices for beef following the fire and subsequent closure of a beef processing plant in Kansas and the current COVID-19 outbreak, where cattle producers have experienced sharp declines in market prices while large margin increases occurred in the meat packing sector. 

Nelson said both events highlighted long-term concerns expressed by cattle producers and now is the time for the department to fully examine the situation and fully prosecute any wrongdoing.