Hoeven Outlines Cattle Contract Library Pilot Program, Gathers Feedback from North Dakota Ranchers

Senator Discusses Efforts to Improve Livestock Disaster Programs, Priorities for the Next Farm Bill

DICKINSON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today met with North Dakota livestock producers to discuss and gather feedback on:

  • The new cattle contract library pilot program that he worked to establish under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
    • The library provides aggregated contract information, including key contract terms, conditions and volumes, to help producers get a better value for their product. The contract library can be accessed here.
    • Hoeven is now working to permanently establish the library in the farm bill.
    • This comes as part of the senator’s larger efforts to improve transparency and competition in cattle markets.
  • Efforts to improve livestock disaster programs, including legislation he is sponsoring with Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to better meet the needs of ranchers impacted by natural disasters.
  • North Dakota priorities for the next farm bill.

“Over recent years, we’ve heard concerns from many North Dakota ranchers about the need for greater transparency, competition and price discovery in cattle markets. That’s exactly what we’re working to achieve with this cattle contract library pilot program, which gives livestock producers a better competitive edge when marketing their cattle,” said Hoeven. “This is the perfect time to gather feedback from our ranchers, as we’re working both to establish the library as a permanent program in the farm bill and to strengthen the disaster programs our producers rely on during times of severe weather. These efforts are all about empowering our ranchers to maintain their operations and access fair and competitive markets.”

Improving Livestock Disaster Programs

Specifically, the Livestock Disaster Relief Act, which Hoeven and Tester are working to include in the upcoming farm bill, would make permanent reforms to better align coverage between the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP). The bill also increases producer assistance under LFP to more accurately compensate them for feed costs and specifies transportation costs for feed, water and livestock as covered losses under ELAP.

Writing the Next Farm Bill

Today’s meeting comes as part of Hoeven’s continued efforts to provide North Dakota farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to give direct feedback as work continues on the next farm bill. In addition to enhancing livestock disaster programs, the senator is working to:

  • Maintain and strengthen crop insurance, the primary risk management tool for many producers.
  • Update and improve the farm safety net, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
  • Improve transparency and competition in cattle markets.
  • Make sure programs are voluntary and farmer-friendly, instead of one-size-fits-all, to reduce the regulatory burden on producers.