In this series of columns, we have engaged in a somewhat detailed examination of the GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration) final rule that was published December 9, 2011, in the Federal Register. We first reviewed the 11 provisions that were in the proposed rule, but were not included in the final rule as a result of the inclusion of language in the recent Agricultural Appropriations bill that prohibited the United States Department of Agriculture from moving forward on these provisions.

While many producers were in favor of these provisions, these 11 provisions were strongly opposed by the packers/integrators and some growers with value-added contracts.

After reviewing the 11 provisions not included in the final rule, we took time and two columns to look at GIPSA’s review of the comments  they received on the four provisions and the cost analysis that were included in the final rule. The comments review section contains a summary of the comments that GIPSA received during the comment period, both for and against, followed by GIPSA’s analysis of the comments and the reasoning behind its decision to either modify the rule or leave as proposed.

The final two sections of the 17-page rule deal with the costs and benefits associated with the rule and the wording of the final rule on the four sections being finalized. Costs for the 11 provisions not included in the final rule were not included in the analysis.

GIPSA did not provide any financial amounts for the benefits for the final rule on the four provisions but rather gave a qualitative analysis. In explaining the benefits, the rule says, “In the June 22, 2010, proposed rule, we asserted that the proposed rule would have benefits but they are not quantified; however, we discuss below the qualitative benefits that we believe are associated with the final rule. In addition to the benefits expected from the various provisions as outlined below, this action fulfills the mandates specified in Title XI of the 2008 Farm Bill.”