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Alabama Ag Commissioner Pate: Cattle, retail beef prices disconnect still plagues marketplace

Questions remain about the dissonance between the market price for cattle and beef prices on the shelves at retailers, as cattle prices remain low and consumer beef prices are at highs.

Earlier this year, businesses were forced to shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That sent market demand into a tailspin, including the demand for cattle. However, beef prices remained high and increased in some cases. It led to the industry groups aligned with the cattlemen, including those in Alabama, to question those market dynamics.

During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate explained the cattlemen were still dealing with these issues.

“That’s still working its way through the system,” Pate said. “We actually Senator [Richard] Shelby and Senator [Doug] Jones and asked them if they would join in with Senator [Chuck] Grassley from [Iowa] and Senator [Mike] Rounds from South Dakota. They were asking the Department of Justice to investigate the meatpackers and just see because a lot of time it is just very non-intuitive — you have increased prices at the grocery store and the prices the cattlemen are getting are really depressed. Actually, that has continued. The President has asked for that investigation. That investigation is not over but it certainly is going on. We asked Attorney General [Steve] Marshall to intervene, too. He seemed somewhat perceptive to that. Hopefully get some answers as to how that can be.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

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