Cattle in a feedlotSenators Jon Tester of Montana and Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced a bill Wednesday that would require large domestic beef processors to purchase at least 50% of their weekly slaughter on the open spot market, a move the lawmakers say would dramatically improve marketplace transparency. Grassley and Tester introduced identical legislation last year based on the record “packer spread,” or difference between cash cattle and boxed beef prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill drew mixed reaction from industry groups; R-CALF USA and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) spoke out in favor of it, saying the transparency it would provide more accurate price reporting and fundamentally shore up discrepancies in CME Group cattle futures market prices, ultimately benefiting ranchers. Despite some state affiliate groups agreeing with R-CALF and USCA, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) didn’t agree, saying such price discovery is important, but a “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t work given the regional variability in the cattle trade. Learn more about the bill and industry reactions.