Sonny Perdue continues to wait for the U.S. Senate to return from vacation to vote on his confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture, which now scheduled for April 24.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, continues to churn out decisions on its own. The latest of those is today’s publication in the Federal Register, now delaying to October the new rule allowing the government to put its thumb on the scale in contacts between farmers and ranchers, and packers.
Mike Young is acting Secretary of Agriculture, a position he has held down since Trump became President on Jan. 20, and he’s opted to put more time on the clock. The delay is making pork, chicken and beef producers all happy, at least for the moment.
Known as the “Farmer Fair Practices Rules,” new regulations from USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and a final rule were all to become effective April 22.
Although Perdue is not yet running USDA, Trump is getting credit for providing more time for review and comment on the package, which would make it easier for contract farmers to sue producers over competitive practices.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, has introduced legislation to ban packers from also owning livestock as a hedge against monopolistic practices in the livestock industry.
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