Farmers dismayed that USDA delays fair practice rule

April 12, 2017 - 5:32 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A rule designed to protect the legal rights of farmers who grow chickens and hogs for the nation's largest meat processors has been delayed by at least six months, halting an initiative rolled out in the final days of Barack Obama's administration.

The rule was first proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010 but was finally rolled out in December and was set to take effect on April 22.

President Donald Trump's administration announced the delay Wednesday to allow for more input.

The rule would make it easier for farmers to sue companies they contract with over unfair or deceptive practices. Farmers who have waited years for the rule expressed disappointment.

Poultry and pork industry trade groups say the rule will reduce competition and drive up meat prices.

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