An investigation has been ordered by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue into recent beef pricing margins after the recent fire at the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kansas.
"I have directed USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to determine if there is any evidence of price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or other unfair practices," says Perdue. "If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action. USDA remains in close communication with plant management and other stakeholders to understand the fire’s impact to industry."
The facility remains offline following the blaze and since then the cash price farmers are paid has dropped significantly while the price of wholesale meat has risen dramatically, leading to record packer profits.
"I have spent this summer visiting with cattle ranchers across the country, and I know this is a difficult time for the industry as a whole, Perdue adds. "USDA is committed to ensuring support is available to ranchers who work hard to the feed the United States and the world.”