National Pork Producers Council

Hog farmers hope to fly past bird flu

Bird flu has infected more than 200 mammals since outbreaks began two years ago, from a polar bear in Alaska to a red fox in Maine, but "it's not been a problem" for hog farmers, said Scott Hays, past president of the National Pork Producers Council, on Monday. "I don't anticipate it being an issue for our industry, but [it's] certainly a watch-out for us."

USDA allows higher line speeds at six pork plants for at least 90 days

Following the recommendation of a team of experts, the Agriculture Department said on Tuesday it would allow six pork processing plants to operate high-speed slaughter lines for an additional 90 days in an experiment that began two years ago. The test was intended to generate information on the impact of higher line speeds on worker safety, but the team of experts said there was not enough data yet.

India agrees to allow imports of U.S. pork

After years of U.S. prodding, India has agreed to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products, said the Biden administration on Monday. Despite being the second-most populous nation on earth, India imports small amounts of pork at present, but U.S. farm groups believe there is great potential for sales.

Vilsack still draws skepticism from farmers fighting agribusiness interests

During the Obama administration, Tom Vilsack presided over a USDA that promised to tackle concentration in the agribusiness industry. But after eight years, critics say, there was little evidence of reform. And that has led many to wonder whether there will be any meaningful changes during Vilsack's current tenure as secretary of agriculture, according to FERN's latest story, written by Clint Rainey. (No paywall)

Hog backlog forecast to rise to 2.5 million head by year’s end

Coronavirus safeguards are constraining slaughter capacity at U.S. pork plants, causing the hog backlog to more than double to 2.5 million head by the end of this year, said a pork industry analyst on Monday. Economist Steve Meyer said the pandemic was "by far, the worst financial disaster ever for American hog farmers, who already were in a weakened financial position due to two years of trade retaliation."

Trump signs order to keep meat plants in operation during pandemic

While declaring there is plenty of meat in America, President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday “to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations” during the coronavirus pandemic, overriding state officials worried about hot spots for the virus. Cattle and hog …

Pork industry group says hog farmers are facing a crisis

With market prices for hogs down by 50 percent, hog farmers are losing money on every animal and some will soon debate whether it’s cheaper to kill a pig than feed it, said Wisconsin producer Howard Roth, president of the National Pork Producer Council, on Tuesday. The NPPC said there is …

World Pork Expo is canceled due to ‘extreme caution’ over hog disease

The World Pork Expo, which draws an international crowd annually to the largest hog-producing state in America, will not be held this June as a precaution against the spread of African swine fever, said its sponsor, the National Pork Producers Council, on Wednesday.

Big Ag says Sen. Warren’s proposals ‘miss the mark’

After a week in which Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who's running for president, was in the spotlight for her call to check the power of big agribusiness and "level the playing field for America's family farmers," Big Ag began to hit back, insisting her ideas are out of touch with reality.  

Conventional agriculture wants to overturn organic livestock rule

The National Pork Producers Council, representing conventional agriculture, called on Congress and the incoming Trump administration to overturn a new USDA animal-welfare rule for organic farms, a small part of U.S. food production. House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway said he hoped Trump officials "will immediately withdraw this rule but stand ready with my colleagues on the Hill to roll back the regulation if necessary."

USDA addresses unfair treatment of livestock producers

At the same time it sent three fair-play rules to the White House for review, the USDA said it will accept public comment on the most consequential of its proposals: an interim final rule on how to judge a producer's complaint of abuse by meat packers. The rule "clarifies that farmers need only prove they were treated unfairly by a company to secure legal remedy," a much easier standard to meet than now in use, says a small-farm advocacy group.

U.S. appeals court blocks disclosure of CAFO ownership

A U.S. court of appeals overturned a lower court ruling and blocked the disclosure of ownership information about concentrated animal feeding operations, Agri-Pulse reported. The appeals court determined that the EPA had violated the Freedom of Information Act by releasing personal information, including phone numbers and email addresses, of CAFOs.

House panel would bar public-records searches of checkoff programs

Some of the biggest commodity groups in the country have enlisted lawmakers in a quiet campaign to shut off public access to the activities of the quasi-governmental boards that promote U.S. cotton, beef, eggs and other agricultural products.

U.S. groups detail benefits, or lack of them, in 12-nation TPP

The newly concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership will remove sales barriers from nations that buy $63 billion worth of U.S. farm exports, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Almost as soon as accord was announced in Atlanta, completing five years of negotiations, U.S. farm groups focused on its benefits - or lack of them - for Americans.

U.S. appeals court overturns dismissal of pork checkoff suit

The U.S. appeals court in Washington "is breathing new life into a previously dismissed lawsuit alleging pork checkoff funds were indirectly used to benefit the lobbying efforts of the National Pork Producers Council," said Agri-Pulse.

South Africa unfair to U.S. chicken and pork, say ag groups

Trade groups speaking for U.S. chicken and hog farmers asked the government to withdraw, or at a minimum restrict, trade benefits for South Africa until it provides more access for U.S. meat imports, reports Feedstuffs.

Trade groups push for repeal of U.S. meat-origin labels

Two major trade groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, told lawmakers that repeal is the only option available in a losing battle over the so-called country of origin labeling (COOL) law. The World Trade Organization has ruled three times against COOL, which requires labels on packages of beef, chicken and pork saying where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

Livestock, poultry groups ask Congress to approve TPA

Groups representing U.S. cattle, hog and poultry producers urged lawmakers to approve rules that assure trade agreements will get a yes-or-no vote with no amendments.

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