Negotiated marketing arrangements have become the lifeblood of U.S. pork producers and packers alike. Today, the vast majority of U.S. market hogs are bought and sold through pre-arranged marketing agreements, leading to stable slaughter runs.

Still, packer purchasing methods and competitiveness have proved to be contentious issues in the livestock industry, including heated debates during the farm bill negotiations. In 2003, in response to some concerns within the livestock industry, Congress directed USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to conduct a study of alternative marketing arrangements, such as those that give packers control over livestock more than 14 days prior to slaughter.

The study’s results were released in 2007, but due to the report’s complexity, researchers are developing peer-reviewed fact sheets to summarize specific results.

The first four fact sheets are now available from IowaState’s LivestockMarketingInformationCenter. Among the topics they address are proposed legislation that would affect livestock marketing arrangements, types of marketing arrangements in the livestock industry and downstream meat marketing practices. View the fact sheets.