ASI's Recommendations for Mandatory Price Reporting
March 8, 2013

On Thursday, the American Sheep Industry Association relayed its top priorities to update Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service based on a report from the Livestock Marketing Information Center titled, "Analysis of Mandatory Price Reporting System for Lamb." Since LMR became effective nearly 12 years ago, structural changes in the industry threaten the sustainability of timely market information primarily due to the application of the 3/70/20 guideline. 
The letter states, "After a decade, it has become apparent that the availability and use of LMR data has changed along with the changes that have occurred in our industry. Therefore, we believe it is time to carefully consider LMR lamb reporting and make the changes necessary to ensure that high-value and usable market data are collected and reported to better reflect the present state of the industry." 
ASI's believes these recommendations should help to alleviate many of the current problems with meeting the 3/70/20 for lamb. The ones that stand out and are of high priority for the industry include:
reduce the packer/processor reporting threshold to at least 35,000 head per year for each of the past two years;
reduce the importer threshold to at least 1,500 metric tons per year for the past two years;
add a pelt price category under LMR that reflects the value paid by packers to producers for slaughter lambs purchased on a negotiated, formula or contract basis;
review, update and/or redefine the "custom processing" definition currently used so that lamb prices can be reported for this large and growing lamb marketing sector;
update the calculations used to determine the Estimated National Lamb Carcass Cutout report;
evaluate the imported cut item categories that are currently and in recent history sold in the U.S. market;
evaluate and adjust LMR definitions for "forward contract" and "forward priced" to reflect recent and current lamb marketing practices and reconsider a "lambs committed" category; and
require LMR participants to submit data in the required format and enforce approved detailed reporting.
The letter concluded by stating, "We urge AMS to carefully consider and address these recommendations as soon as possible whether by proposed rulemaking where required or by adjusting forms or categories when possible (for example adding an 85-95 lb. and over 95 lb. category to the carcass reports) and enhanced enforcement of the reporting requirements."