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The Farm Bill


Philip Bump has a nice run-down of the important things to look for in the upcoming farm bill/massive subsidization of agribusiness thanks to the incredible power held by rural state senators. One point I would like to bring your attention to is an amendment that would limit meatpackers to owning animals directly for no more than 2 weeks before slaughter. This is important because the big meatpackers are monopolizing the market:

Meatpackers increasingly own their own cattle in order to manipulate the market. The companies buy livestock on the open market when prices are low but slaughter their own livestock when bidding prices rise. This puts long-term, downward pressure on the price of livestock and allows meatpackers to manipulate what farmers and ranchers earn. These persistently low livestock prices effectively work to push small and medium-sized farmers out of business, while still leading to increased consumer food prices because large meatpackers don’t face enough competition to force them to pass on savings to consumers.

Grassley and Conrad are the co-sponsors so maybe it does have a chance to pass.

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