A daily briefing on agriculture and food policy
With help from Jenny Hopkinson and Eric Wolff
THE NEXT GIPSA QUESTION: Now that the USDA has agreed to again push back the effective date of its controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s interim final rule, the next action to watch is how commenters respond to the question asked on a new proposed rule, Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s VP of government affairs, tells MA. That question, according to a pre-published copy of the notice: Should USDA “(1) let the rule become effective, (2) suspend the rule indefinitely, (3) delay the effective date of the rule further, or (4) withdraw the rule?”
NCBA is one of a number of industry groups that applauded the 180-day delay of the rule’s implementation, until Oct. 19, on Tuesday, and would like to see the rule withdrawn altogether. However, the Organization for Competitive Markets, a group that has gone to bat in defense of the GIPSA rule, is not at all a fan of the question. “Typically, USDA asks for comments, weighs whether the rule needs to be changed based on those comments, and makes a decision,” says Angela Huffman, OCM’s communications director. “What they are doing now is turning it into a popularity contest rather than true rulemaking to determine what is good for the farmers or the industry.”
Either way, the GIPSA interim rule puts Sonny Perdue in a difficult bind, as Georgia includes as many as 5,000 contract chicken farms who many believe would be better served by the rule, as well as some large processors who don’t like the changes, as Pro Ag’s Boudreau earlier reported.