The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has opened a comment period through June 24 for a study the agency is conducting over the feasibility of establishing a livestock dealer statutory trust.

The study is required by the 2018 Farm Bill, with a final report due within one year. The study will assist Congress in determining if there is a need to establish a livestock dealer statutory trust for the financial protection of livestock sellers, according to a released AMS statement. The study will include:

• how the statutory trust would affect buyer and seller behavior in livestock markets;

• how a trust would affect seller recovery in the event of a livestock dealer payment default;

• impact on credit availability;

• protection from insufficient funds payments for livestock sellers; and

• the treatment of livestock sellers as it relates to preferential transfer in bankruptcy.

Written comments must be received by June 24, 2019.

Comments may be posted, and more information can be found, online here.

Comments may also be sent to: S. Brett Offutt, Chief Legal Officer/Policy Advisor, Packers and Stockyards Division; Fair Trade Practices Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Room 2507, STOP 3601; Washington, D.C. 20250-3601.

All comments should reference the docket number.

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