A report by the Government Accountability Office shows supply and demand factors that affected cattle feed prices, such as a drought, also affected changes in fed cattle prices. From 2013 to 2016, the price of fed cattle fluctuated and experienced a sharp downturn beginning in late 2015. This raised concerns about the market and questions about USDA’s oversight. As a result, GOA has recommended USDA review the extent to which transaction data can be shared with the Packers and Stockyards Program. If USDA determines the statute does not permit such sharing, and it is advisable, a proposal can be submitted to Congress to allow such sharing.
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