BISMARCK, ND. – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) addressed the North Dakota Stockmen Association’s annual convention last week and detailed legislative efforts he is leading as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.

Hoeven said the Senate Agriculture Committee helped North Dakota livestock producers receive more than $144 million in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and CFAP 2 payments. He also said he helped ensure fair and transparent pricing for cattle producers. 

“The US enjoys the most affordable, highest quality food supply in the world, and that’s due to the hard work of our farmers and ranchers, who remain committed to this critical work even in the face of the most challenging circumstances,” Hoeven said. “Our efforts are all about helping our producers to overcome the current difficulties and help ensure a fair and transparent marketplace moving forward.”

Under the CFAP 2 program, ranchers will receive $55 per head for the highest number of cattle in inventory between Apr. 16 and Aug. 31. Sign-up for the program goes until Dec. 11, 2020. 

In the CARES Act, Hoeven said he helped secure $9.5 billion of direct funding to assist farmers and ranchers along with $14 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funding. 

When it comes to fair and transparent pricing, Hoeven stated at the convention that he is making a case to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate price manipulation in the cattle market. He said fellow Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is pressing Attorney General William Barr to investigate suspected price manipulation and anticompetitive behavior in the cattle industry.

The DOJ began investigating the cattle markets in June, issuing subpoenas to some of the biggest meat processors in the United States. 

Hoeven also discussed the need for reform in Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) and reauthorization. The LMR requires meatpackers and importers to report to the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) the prices paid for cattle, hogs and sheep bought for slaughter. Also, they must report prices they receive for meats derived from such species. LMR expires on Dec. 11, 2020.