In many states, higher prices are offered for large shipments of cattle or hogs, effectively discriminating against smaller producers providing identical products. In the absence of any federal initiatives, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Missouri have all passed price discrimination laws. Efforts in Kansas are currently underway.
However, the laws have encountered resistance from meatpackers. South Dakota’s 1999 law (SB 95) was overturned in a case brought by the American Meat Institute (AMI), an industry trade group, in 1999. The law was interpreted as extending uniform pricing to other states “for livestock purchased for slaughter in this state”, thereby interfering with interstate commerce.
Missouri passed a similar law in 1999, avoiding the language overturned in South Dakota. Nonetheless, AMI has challenged the law. In March 2000 the Missouri law was overruled by a federal district court. In May 2001, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the law.