The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service has formally published the new proposed rule, "Poultry Grower Payment Systems and Capital Improvement Systems," in the Federal Register with a 60-day comment period. USDA announced the rule on June 3, 2024. The public may submit comments until Aug. 9. AMS has posted a webinar on the proposed rule and fact sheet translations for recent final rules.

"Poultry Grower Payment Systems and Capital Improvement Systems" would revise regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act to address unfairness and deception in broiler grower payments, tournament operations and capital improvement systems. The rule would:

  • Prohibit payment practices that reduce or discount payment rates in a contract under poultry grower ranking systems (tournaments) in contract poultry production for broiler chickens.
  • Establish a duty of fair comparison to ensure that grower comparisons are conducted in a reasonable and equitable way that does not disadvantage specific growers and requires live poultry dealers (LPDs) to adopt policies and procedures in furtherance of operating a fair ranking system for broiler growers.
  • Require LPDs to provide certain information to broiler growers when the LPD requests or requires the grower to make additional capital investments to guard against deception and to enable USDA to better enforce existing prohibitions on unfair additional capital investments adopted in 2011 (9 CFR 201.216), including relating to whether the grower can reasonably expect to recoup the investment.

AMS proposes these changes in response to numerous complaints from growers about the use of tournament pay systems and additional capital investment programs.

The proposed rule is available to view in the Federal Register.

More information on the full range of USDA’s competition initiatives is available on the AMS Fair and Competitive Markets web page.

Source: USDA's AMS