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GIPSA's One-Year Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of the GIPSA livestock marketing rules occurred this week in 2010. The spectacle of the Fort Collins, CO, meeting held last August seems like ages ago. Since then, the rules have languished in comments, study and politicking; and nobody is sure now just what the new rules will look like when they are released, which is expected to be later this year.

The heated debate within USDA over the economic analysis of the rule appears to have been decided, after significant pressure from Congress in favor of conducting a full-blown analysis. The internal debate now seems to be over whether the economic analysis will be done on the proposed rule, or on the rule that nobody has seen. Obviously this has everyone in a state of uncertainty, until the rule is actually published.

Given the players, nobody is expecting the rule to be substantively different, which means the issue will be played out in court or possibly in the upcoming farm bill.