The National Cattlemen?s Beef Association (NCBA) is asking the Department of Agriculture to further investigate the cattle and beef markets. NCBA President Marty Smith sent a letter to President Donald Trump on the matter Wednesday. The letter requests the government to act quickly to investigate the striking disparity between boxed beef prices and cattle prices in the futures and cash markets during the current COVID-19 crisis, and following the packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas, last August.
In his letter, Smith requests President Trump to direct USDA to expand the ongoing investigation into market activity after the Holcomb fire to include current market volatility, ?in the hope of identifying whether inappropriate influence occurred in the markets.? Smith says, ?we need continued vigilance and oversight of all cattle market participants.? The letter also requests the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to study the influence of speculators on live and feeder cattle futures contracts to determine whether these contracts remain a useful risk-management tool for cattle producers.