The mandatory price reporting legislation was not renewed before Congress took the election recess. In October, the Senate approved a one-year extension of the legislation, which is now waiting on approval from the House. The legislation is expected to be renewed when Congress reconvenes.

Most packers are continuing to voluntarily report prices. The volume appears to be about 98 percent of the mandatory reports, according to Ron Plain, University of Missouri. Plain says the report has not been compromised any.

“USDA worked with packers saying the law might temporarily expire but was likely to be renewed,” says Plain. “The best solution was to continue reporting as before.”

The legislation would extend MPR until Sept. 30, 2005. While the extension is generally considered a positive, there is still more work to be done to insure that MPR remains a viable, long-term tool for producers.

“The industry will still have to deal with MPR again next year,” says Plain. “There are a number of people who think MPR should be tweaked, but the feeling was an election year was not the best time to deal with this issue.”