Cattle groups and senators have been putting pressure on Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, who responded to the pressure via Twitter.
His tweet says the USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division would expand its investigation into the cattle markets.
The Hagstrom Report says the inquiry will now cover the cattle market conditions stretching from a summertime fire in Kansas last year up to the market conditions following the emergence of COVID-19.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association had called for an investigation last Wednesday, with Perdue responding on the same day.
NCBA President Marty Smith says, “I would like to thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for their quick response to NCBA’s request to expand the agency’s investigation into the cattle markets.”
He says they believe the investigation will restore cattle producers’ confidence in the market.
They’re also looking forward to the agency’s recommendations on how to improve things in the industry.
Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota pointed out that live cattle futures’ prices declined in March while prices for boxed beef sold to grocery stores rose.
“The obvious price disparity is harmful not only to the consumer but also for our hardworking, honest cattlemen who just want a fair market,” Cramer says.