Ag Secretary orders investigation into beef pricing margins

ELKTON, S.D. (WNAX) – U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has ordered an investigation into beef pricing margins after the recent fire at the Holcomb, Kansas Tyson Foods Packing plant. Following the fire, margins were pushed to record highs. South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President Steve (oh-l-uh-rick) Ollerich of Elkton, says cattle producers took a financial hit from that event.

He’s pleased the Ag Secretary is moving ahead with the investigation.

Ollerich says transparency is critical for the markets and the USDA needs to look at all aspects of the beef supply chain and utilize all internal and external expertise in the investigation.

Cattle prices went down when the Tyson plant was shutdown indefinitely and producers were worried they wouldn’t be able to sell their livestock in a timely manner. At the same time, beef prices climbed as buyers for food service companies, restaurants and grocery chains were scrambling for meat.