R-CALF USA joined with four cattle-feeding ranchers in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming to file a class-action lawsuit against the largest US beef packers. The Big Four packers — Cargill, JBS, National Beef, and Tyson — are accused of conspiring to artificially lower prices. The suit alleges that in order to create a glut of fed cattle, the Big Four collectively reduced slaughter rates. The complaint further accuses the packers of other collusive tactics like coordinating their weekly cash market purchases and importing cattle from Canada and Mexico. The combined efforts of the Big Four, according to the suit, have depressed prices of fed cattle nearly 8 percent since January 2015, resulting in significant economic harm to ranchers across the country.
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