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AMS Publishes ‘3/70/20’ Modification to Mandatory Price Reporting Rules

Friday, August 3, 2001

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today published a notice announcing a change to the confidentiality guidelines it follows regarding mandatory price reporting. AMS expects that using the new guidelines will increase the numbers of published reports.

Under the new "3/70/20" guidelines, price reports will be published so long as three conditions are met for each report:

  • At least three reporting entities provide data at least 50 percent of the time over the most recent 60-day time period;

  • No single reporting entity provides more than 70 percent of the data for a report over the most recent 60-day period; and

  • No single reporting entity may be the sole reporting entity for an individual report more than 20 percent of time over the most recent 60-day period.

Under the previous guidelines, at least three entities had to provide data and no single entity could be responsible for more than 60 percent of the data for a report to be published.

USDA estimates that between April 2 and June 14, 30 percent of daily swine and cattle reports were withheld for confidentiality reasons. If the "3/70/20" guideline had been applied over that same time period, fewer than two percent would have been withheld.

In response, AMI's Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp said, "We hope AMS’ new '3/70/20' guidelines will be a step in the right direction - balancing the need for information with the desire to protect confidentiality."

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