USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration released a report on marketing arrangements in the livestock and meat industries, the "GIPSA Livestock and Meat Marketing Study," on Friday.
The report found that alternative marketing arrangements increase economic benefits in efficiency of meat markets for producers, packers, and consumers.
The study, mandated by Congress in 2003, assesses the effects on the market of packer ownership of livestock more than 14 days in advance of slaughter and examines alternative methods to procure and transfer livestock from farm to retail.
The most common marketing arrangements for livestock that are made 14 days before slaughter include lot-by-lot contracts or forward contracts, marketing agreements that are contracts for multiple lots, and equity investments by packers in feeding animals referred to as "packer ownership."
In December 2006, the report was sent to economic academics across the country for peer review purposes. Their comments have been incorporated into the report.
The interim and final reports, including peer reviewers' comments, and additional information about the study are available at http://www.gipsa.usda.gov/GIPSA/webapp?area=homeandsubject=lmpandtopic=ir-mms.