If the United States and China settle their ongoing trade dispute, commodity prices could recover from their recent decline, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday. At the same time, he promised a USDA backstop in case of trouble.
Several national and local advocacy groups are calling on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to veto a bill that would greatly restrict the public's ability to sue large-scale animal farms over negative health and environmental effects. The state general assembly passed the bill on Friday.
In the wake of a jury verdict that awarded millions to the neighbors of industrial hog farms in Duplin County, North Carolina, the state’s Senate Agriculture Committee approved language that would make it more difficult to bring similar “nuisance” lawsuits in the future.
The $50-million judgment against a North Carolina hog farm as a nuisance to its neighbors “is a blatant assault on animal agriculture and rural America,” said the meat industry and three farm groups on Wednesday.
The U.S. hog inventory is up 3 percent from a year ago, according to a quarterly report by USDA. Beef and poultry production are also expanding, leading USDA to forecast a nearly 4-percent increase in the meat supply this year. The increase is so large that per capita meat consumption is expected to increase by 5.6 pounds, to 222.4 pounds per person.
A coalition of 55 environmental, agricultural, and food-safety organizations signed a letter urging the Iowa General Assembly pass a moratorium on new and expanded factory farm development in the state. Iowa currently houses nearly 23 million hogs, a record for the state and the highest number in the country.
Hog farmers can thank increased international demand for U.S. pork for the profit-making market prices in the months ahead, says Purdue economist Chris Hurt. Writing at farmdoc Daily, Hurt forecasts an average market price of 50 cents a pound for hogs, nearly 4 cents higher than the average price in 2016.
The North Carolina state House voted, 74-40, to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of a bill limiting the liability of large livestock farms when they are sued for noxious odors or runoff, said the Port City Daily. "Only time will tell how this legislation plays out...the bill must still pass in (the) Senate before it becomes law."
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would limit the liability of large livestock farms when they are sued for creating a public nuisance due to odors or manure runoff. His veto may not be the end of the story because hog farmers are encouraging the legislature to override the veto.