Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch have written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to reconsider the purpose and benefits of the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) livestock procurement rule.

The pair cite several concerns about the rule’s impact on livestock and poultry producers.

“We can agree that transparent and efficient markets benefit producers, processors, retailers and consumers, and that additional regulations may be needed to protect producers and encourage competition. Nevertheless, we have to make certain that any well-intentioned remedies do not have unintended consequences, thereby harming the very farm and ranch families that the rule is intended to protect,” the senators wrote.

The senators expressed concerns about the prohibition on packer-to-packer sales and reporting requirements that threaten the privacy of confidential business information and added government oversight that will eliminate market options.

The senators are also troubled that the GIPSA proposal lacks a sound economic analysis, which they contend is essential.

“We appreciate the department’s past coordination between its staff and Idaho’s livestock producers, as these cooperative efforts have greatly benefitted our state’s agricultural community. However, we are concerned that the proposed GIPSA rule will have negative repercussions for the livestock and poultry industries, by among other things, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty. As such, we urge the department to carefully reconsider the purpose and benefits of this rule and to actively listen to the concerns of the producers who will be impacted,” the letter concludes.

For more on GIPSA, go to www.meatami.org.