The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2015 would reauthorize the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act as well as increase requirements for livestock reporting. The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act requires packers and importers of cattle, swine, and lamb to report to the USDA details of transactions of livestock and meats. It would otherwise expire on September 30, 2015. The bill has been passed by the House and awaits Senate action.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 1, 2015.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on September 17, 2015. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015
This bill reauthorizes and amends laws that address livestock mandatory price reporting requirements, funding for the National Forest Foundation, and procedures for weighing and inspecting grain.
TITLE I--MANDATORY PRICE REPORTING
This bill amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to extend and revise the Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) livestock mandatory price reporting requirements.
(Sec. 101) The bill extends the authority for continuing mandatory livestock price reporting through FY2020. Current authority expires at the end of FY2015.
(Sec. 102) USDA must begin reporting specified price details regarding certain negotiated purchases of swine. USDA must include required information that occurs after the afternoon reporting deadline in reports for the next day.
(Sec. 103) USDA must revise regulations to modify the definitions of "packer" and "importers" for the purpose of lamb reporting requirements.
USDA must include only importers that imported an average of 1,000 metric tons of lamb meat products per year during the previous four years, or importers that USDA determines should be included based on the volume of lamb imports.
The term "packer" applies to any entity with at least 50% ownership in a facility and includes a federally inspected processing plant that slaughtered or processed the equivalent of an average of 35,000 head of lambs per year during the previous five years. USDA may include other processing plants that should be considered packers based on capacity.
(Sec. 104) The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service must consult with relevant market participants to study and report to Congress on the implementation of livestock mandatory price reporting.
TITLE II--NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION
(Sec. 201) This bill amends the National Forest Foundation Act to authorize USDA to provide matching funds for certain administrative and project expenses incurred by the National Forest Foundation for FY2016-FY2018.
TITLE III--UNITED STATES GRAIN STANDARDS ACT REAUTHORIZATION
This bill reauthorizes and amends provisions of the United States Grain Standards Act. The Act authorizes USDA to establish official marketing standards for grains, and to provide procedures for grain inspection and weighing. The bill reauthorizes several expiring provisions through FY2020, establishes procedures in the event of an interruption of inspection and weighing services, revises the process for delegating inspections to state agencies, and revises fees for inspection and weighing services.
(Sec. 301) The bill revises USDA's discretionary authority to waive weighing and inspection requirements in emergency circumstances to require a waiver in an emergency. Transfers of grain into an export elevator by any mode of transportation are not required to be officially weighed.
In the case of a disruption in official grain inspection or weighing services, the bill requires USDA to immediately take the actions necessary to address the disruption and resume services. USDA must also report to Congress on the disruption and provide daily updates until services have resumed.
The bill ends the permanent delegation to state agencies to carry out export inspection and weighing services. Every five years, USDA must certify that each state agency with a delegation of authority is meeting specified criteria. The certification process must include public notice and a comment period. State agencies that have been delegated authority and intend to temporarily discontinue official inspection or weighing services, except in the case of a major disaster, must notify USDA in advance.
USDA must waive geographic boundaries to permit agencies to carry out weighing and inspection activities in another geographic area if specified conditions are met.
In order to review the performance of states, local agencies, and individuals that have applied to perform official inspections other than at export port locations, USDA must periodically consult with customers of the applicant and work with the applicant to address any concerns.
The bill extends the duration of licenses for inspectors from three to five years. Designations of official agencies terminate at a time specified by USDA that is no later than every five years.
The bill changes the fee calculation for inspection and weighing services and extends the authority to collect fees through FY2020.
The bill extends the limitation on total administrative and supervisory costs, the authorization of appropriations, and the authorization of the advisory committee through FY2020.
(Sec. 302) USDA must report to Congress on the disruption in federal inspection of grain exports at the Port of Vancouver in the summer of 2014. The report must include factors that led or contributed to the disruption and changes in policy USDA has implemented to ensure that a similar disruptions does not occur in the future.
(Sec. 303) USDA must report to Congress on policy barriers to U.S. grain producers in countries that: (1) produce grain that receives official grading in the United States, and (2) do not offer official grading for U.S. grain or provide only the lowest designation for U.S. grain.