USDA is focused on building new, more, fairer, and more resilient markets for our farmers, ranchers, and producers. To help get there, USDA published the first of several priority initiatives supporting enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act, which protects poultry growers and livestock producers from unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices.
The proposed rule, Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments will help poultry growers avoid deception and compete more effectively by providing disclosures of critical information to growers when they enter into a contract and over the course of the poultry growing arrangement.
The proposed rule would require poultry companies to provide growers with a Live Poultry Dealer Disclosure Document with key information about realistic outcomes before making important contracting decisions, including making additional capital investments.
The rule also would require tournament-specific disclosures to poultry growers paid using a poultry grower ranking system. These disclosures would provide critical information about the inputs they receive at the point of receiving the inputs. These placement disclosures will improve growers’ ability to monitor issues and compete in real-time using the inputs they receive.
The rule would also provide input disclosure at the time of settlement to show the distribution of the inputs together with the housing specification and any feed disruptions for all the growers in the tournament. These settlement disclosures will also prevent deception, enable growers to understand the relative importance of inputs, housing investments, skills and efforts; and enable them to plan and improve their ability to compete and deliver positive outcomes.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which administers and enforces the Act through its Packers and Stockyards Division, invites interested stakeholders and the public to review and comment on the proposed rule until Aug. 8, 2022, at www.regulations.gov.
Additionally, USDA is seeking comment through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on what additional steps we could take to enhance fairness and address concerns about the tournament system. The ANPR, Poultry Growing Tournament Systems: Fairness and Related Concerns, is also available for comment until Sept. 6, 2022, at www.regulations.gov.
Finally, the recently released report, Agricultural Competition: A Plan in Support of Fair and Competitive Markets has more about USDA’s efforts to create fair and competitive markets.