USDA delays GIPSA rule, prompting NFU criticism
The Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration on Feb. 6 delayed the Farmer Fair Practices interim final rule that was supposed to go into effect on Feb. 21 until April 22.
The notice in the Federal Register said it was undertaking the delay consistent with President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 memorandum imposing a freeze on the rules promulgated late in the Obama administration. The rule was published Dec. 20.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson criticized the decision.
“Family farmers and ranchers have been waiting on the protections provided by the Farmer Fair Practices Rules for far too long, enduring heavily concentrated markets and the unfair practices associated with lack of competition,” Johnson said.
“After having been delayed and obstructed for the past seven years, it’s time to end the unnecessary delays to the Farmer Fair Practices Rules and allow these basic protections to be finalized.
“Despite the contention of some who have consistently opposed the increased transparency and basic protections these rules offer, the Farmer Fair Practices Rules are not some ‘midnight rule’ of the Obama administration,” Johnson said. “They are the culmination of nearly a decade of work, having been provided for in the 2008 farm bill and undergone the full regulatory process. The USDA went to extensive lengths to ensure public comment was considered and Congress’s intent was realized, only to be blocked by riders stuck on appropriations bills in the middle of the night.”
— The Hagstrom Report