WASHINGTON — After announcing updated rules to provide transparency with processors and poultry producers, the US Department of Agriculture published more information in the Federal Register on Nov. 28.
In its summary, the Agricultural Marketing Service said the final rules would amend regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act and add disclosures and information that live poultry dealers, usually large processing companies, must provide to poultry growers.
“The rule also establishes additional disclosure requirements for live poultry dealers engaged in the production of broilers who use poultry grower ranking systems to determine settlement payments for broiler growers,” AMS said in the register. “These requirements add targeted transparency to the market for grower services that will inhibit deceptive practices related to broiler contracting and performance.”
Other parts of the rule include live poultry dealers providing a “Live Poultry Dealer Disclosure Document” that presents poultry growers information needed to see outcomes they can expect before making financial decisions, such as capital-intensive facility improvements or taking out loans.
Also, the rule would require dealers to disclose earnings for growers by quintile, establish minimum flock placements and explain variable costs growers might incur and how companies handle occurrences such as sick flocks and natural disasters.
The USDA provided more details on the rule on Nov. 8 including its intention to establish the position of a chief competition officer working at AMS.
The National Chicken Council (NCC) said it did not have more detailed comments outside its initial November statement and was “still reviewing the fine print about how the regulations would affect our members.”
According to the Federal Register, the final rule goes into effect on Feb. 12, 2024.