Cattle Market Challenges

Challenges in the cattle marketing are not new, and ICA's emphasis on these issues is not new. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association has been working for years to increase producers' leverage, improve price discovery, and better situate the independent Iowa cattlemen in the fed cattle markets. These issues became even more apparent and urgent with the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you'll find articles and press releases about ICA's cattle market work.

July 2020

Iowa Representatives introduce 50/14 House Bill

On July 9, Reps. Axne, Finkenauer, and Loebsack introduced legislation focused on fostering increased competition and negotiated cash trade in the cattle markets. The bill is a companion to Sen. Grassley's cattle marketing bill.


ICA staff and member leaders have worked diligently for months to inform our elected officials on price discovery and the need for solutions to address long standing issues in our cattle markets. Rep. Axne's leadership on the House Agriculture Committee, along with support from Reps. Finkenauer and Loebsack, has helped prioritize this discussion in advance of Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) reauthorization.

Read more.

July 2020

ICA's reaction to NCBA Cattle Marketing Policy

The policy passed at NCBA meets some of ICA's objectives, and we consider it a step forward, but it is not a complete victory. There is still much to be done to increase price discovery, and we are disappointed that a solution to this very urgent problem may be delayed once again. The longer that the price discovery discrepancy affects fed cattle producers across the U.S., the more likely it is to also deeply impact cow/calf producers. ICA will continue to work independently of NCBA on solutions. 

 ICA's Next Steps: The NCBA policy decision does not change ICA's advocacy efforts in any way. 

1. We still support Sen. Grassley and Rep. Axne's cash trade bills. 

2. We will continue to explore other means of increasing price discovery. 

3. We will stay engaged in the NCBA working group and continue to work with other state and national cattlemen's groups.

Read more.

July 2020

Iowa Cattlemen Request Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association calls on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to hold a hearing to examine possible solutions intended to address concerns within the beef cattle industry through reauthorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR). This discussion should include the proposed 50 percent cash trade mandate with 14 day delivery brought forth by Sens. Grassley and Tester. A hearing would provide a valuable opportunity to publicly discuss proposed changes that would benefit the beef cattle industry in its entirety. This ultimately supports our ability as producers to continue to sustainably raise high quality, safe beef for our food supply.

Read more.

June 2020

Iowa Cattlemen hosts Cattle Market Webinar with Corbitt Wall, Brad Kooima and Jordan Levi

Price discovery and producer leverage are urgent issues affecting cattle producers in Iowa and across the country. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association hosted a webinar on June 17 with three industry leaders to discuss the current challenges and possible solutions to the problem. 

Join ICA staff member Katie Olthoff as she moderates a panel featuring Corbitt Wall, Brad Kooima and Jordan Levi. The group discussed fed cattle marketing trends and how they affect price discovery and producer leverage before diving into industry-led initiatives such as Senator Grassley's proposed 50/14 mandate and "Bid the Grid" concept.

Watch the webinar here.

April 2020

Iowa Cattlemen advocate for producers amid crisis

Iowa Cattlemen joined 19 other state cattlemen's organizations to formally request a Department of Justice Investigation into the cattle markets. More info coming soon.

ICA board members have also been involved in many discussions and working groups across the country, exploring a regulatory approach to increase cash trade.

Read more.

March 2020

Iowa Cattlemen met with Senator Joni Ernst

Key topics discussed included the need for more transparency and negotiated cash trade in major cattle feeding states, reauthorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting, the Packers and Stockyards investigation of beef pricing margins post-Holcomb fire... 

Read more.

March 2020

Small Fish in a Big Pond

When it comes to fed and other types of cattle marketing trades, our position is that increasing the timeliness and the detail of market data is key to providing price discovery for producers and other players in the live cattle market across the country. Read more.

February 2020

Iowa Policy Passes at NCBA

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association returned from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association victorious, after garnering enough support to pass two new interim cattle marketing policies at the national level. 

Read more.

February 2020

Taking the Bucket to the Bunk

Market transparency is on full feed from your Iowa Cattlemen's Association...Our focus is to increase negotiated trade/market transparency up and down the beef belt for the opportunity to leverage competition... 

Read more.

January 2020

ICA Sets 2020 Policy

Most of the Cattle Production Committee meeting was focused on cattle marketing, and more specificially, market transparency and negotiated cash trade. 

Read more.


October 2019

Fire Fallout

ICA has been working on several longer-term priorities, intended to strengthen Iowa's beef business over time. 

Read more.

September 2018

ICA Leader Represent Iowa at NCBA Summer Business Meeting

Cattle Marketing is always a priority for ICA on the national level. This year, ICA introduced two policies in the Live Cattle Marketing Committee aimed at improving risk management tools for cattlemen. 

Read more.

March 2017

NCBA Policy Meetings Highlight Opportunities and Challenges in the Cattle Industry

Over the past several years, the types of cattle marketings (reported through mandatory price reporting) have changed. In the past, most cattle were "cash negotiated," meaning several market participants openly bid on cattle to negotiate the most favorable price for the cattle feeder. 

Read more.

August 2016

Mission Accomplished: ICA Cattle Marketing Policy now part of NCBA Policy

The board adopted policy encouraging that 50% of the cattle in the U.S. be marketed through negotiated cash trade. In Iowa, 60-70% of the cattle are already marketed through negotiated cash trade, but that is not the case in other major cattle feeding regions. The intent of this policy is not to mandate or dictate what any one producer does on theri farm, but to send a strong message that more price discovery needs to happen across the country in order for markets to become more reliable and stable. 

Read more.