Officials for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urged government officials to implement a new price-reporting system, designed for better reports while retaining much of the confidentiality of the old system.

"NCBA's primary objective is timely market information that does not compromise the confidentiality of the companies that are required to report," said Chuck Lambert, NCBA Chief Economist. "NCBA worked with officials at USDA to develop an effective reporting system, but release of information from the new system has been seriously hampered by overly restrictive confidentiality standards."

NCBA sent a letter Wednesday to Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, making the plea.

The new rule, known as "3/70/20," incorporates beef industry recommendations, and requires at least three companies to submit data 50 percent of the time or more over a 60-day period. No single company can account for more than 70 percent of the cumulative volume for an individual report over the 60-day period, and the same firm cannot be the only reporting entity more than 20 percent of the time during a 60-day period.

USDA has indicated that they will implement the new standard as soon as OMB approves it. It is now four months after the mandatory system began and two months after the revised confidentiality standards were proposed.