A proposed USDA rule published Feb. 8 would bring swine contractors under the regulation of the Packers & Stockyards Act, a move that Congress mandated in the 2002 farm bill. The 2002 farm bill remains in effect under an extension through March 15 as Congress seeks to complete the 2007-08 farm legislation.
The public comment period on the proposed rule ends on April 8. It was not immediately clear if the last-minute rulemaking for the 2002 farm bill would carry over for a final rule under the new farm bill.
The proposed rule, from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Agency, aims to prevent swine contractors from circulating misleading reports about market conditions or prices.
According the Federal Register, if GIPSA implements the proposed rule swine contractors will have to open their business records and facilities to authorized representatives of GIPSA upon request. Some swine contractors may have to change their policies to allow access and to accommodate GIPSA representatives, However new information or records will not be required, unless existing information or records are false or misleading about market conditions, prices, or sales of livestock, meat, or live poultry.