Update on the Pork Industry

The National Pork Producers Council calls for swift action by the senate for more aid to help struggling hog farmers.

Hog producers find themselves in uncharted territory. The NPPC says the industry is expected to lose $5 billion dollars by the end of the year. Av Roth, NPPC President, says that Congress has to step up and pass companion legislation to the HEROES Act, already adopted by the House. It would give direct payments to producers who continue to take a devastating financial blow because of COVID-19.

According to Roth, “These provisions represent the lifeline pork producers need if we are to maintain a highly competitive pork production system in the U.S. Without them, we will see thousands of hog farmers liquidate their family farms.”

The backlog of pigs and packing plants still operating at reduced capacity is making it more difficult for producers to make long-term decisions. Pork producer, Mike Paustian states, “We constantly reinforce to do what’s best for the pig and then turn around and say we’re going to see these pigs go to waste. It’s demoralizing. That why we’re sensitive to the toll it has on our family and employees.”

Pork producers say that the HEROES Act legislation would also give $300 million dollars to animal surveillance and laboratories, which have now been tapped to do testing for coronavirus testing. The Senate is not expected to take up the HEROES Act until June.