US pork producers make Farm Bill wish-list
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has
indicated to lawmakers what the country's pork producers want and don't want in
the next Farm Bill.
There are several bills pending in Congress that could adversely affect pork
producers' ability to market their hogs, including a ban on meat packers using
contract growers and a requirement that packers buy at least 25% of their pigs
on the so-called spot market.
"Punitive actions against packers do
not necessarily benefit pork producers in the long run unless the packers are
clearly in the wrong," NPPC past President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from
Bruning, Neb., told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and
"We have seen no evidence of this, and Congress must proceed
with caution, weighing the costs and benefits of such important public-policy
NPPC pointed out that while
the structures of the US pork industry and pork and hog markets have changed
over the past 10 years, pork producers have enjoyed "unparalleled prosperity"
over the past three years, recording 35 consecutive months of profitability
through December 2006 with an average profit of $22.17 per head over that
period, according to data from Iowa State University.
It also said
that significant taxpayer dollars have been invested in researching competition
in the livestock markets but that USDA and the livestock industry have not had
time to digest and consider any findings.
NPPC urged lawmakers
concerned about competition and concentration in the livestock industry to look
at transactions rather structures to determine if markets are
Farm Bill wish-list
Addressing pork industry
issues it expects will be included in the 2007 Farm Bill, NPPC asked the Senate
Agriculture Committee to:
- End the 51-cent per gallon ethanol production
subsidy (tax credit) and stop the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol to help
ease corn supply pressures that are growing because of the rapid rise in ethanol
- Dismantle regulatory hurdles to allow pork producers to incorporate
conservation planning into their operations.
- Increase EQIP funding allocations to pork producers so that they can raise
the level of their environmental performance and address critical conservation
and environmental needs on their operations.
- Oppose a ban on non-ambulatory or fatigued hogs from entering the food
- Oppose a ban on the use in livestock of certain antibiotics.
- Oppose a ban on the use of sow stalls on farms that produce food animals that
are purchased by the federal government.
- Oppose efforts to eliminate or mandate livestock marketing or pricing
- Support increases in funding for the Market Access Program and the Foreign
Market Development Program to boost pork exports.
- Pass trade agreements negotiated with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
and extend Trade Promotion Authority.
- Continue funding for government research related to
the pork industry, including research on swine genetics, animal vaccines and
More info: NPPC
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