Cattle contract library pilot project by Jan 1?

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Cattle contract library pilot project by Jan 1?

A pilot library of livestock contracts could be operational by the first of next year, according to the head of USDA’s agricultural marketing service.

The $1 million Congress pilot funded by this year’s spending aims to improve price transparency in livestock markets, helping independent producers get a fairer price.

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service Chief Bruce Summers told Ag Appropriations Ranking Republican John Hoeven that the pilot could go live sooner than expected.

Hoeven, then Summers…

“You say, launch September 23, can you do it before that? Summers: “Well, 23 is when the money expires, we’ll get the pilot going before that.” Hoeven: “So when do you think you’re going to launch it?” Summers: “Hopefully by the first of the year.” Hoeven: “By the first of the year.” Hoeven: “By the first day of the year, and after that, you’ll come back and tell us how it’s going, won’t you? How will it work and how is it going? Summers: “I think that’s what a pilot is all about.”

Summers agreed with Hoeven that the pilot could move to a permanent-contract library if Congress passes a controversial livestock marketing reform bill he is currently considering.

The permanent library is included in the reform bill lawmakers have just begun debating in hearings with producers and industry executives and executives.

Summers says the pilot would help determine how contract price information is provided and how the permanent library is funded.

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