April 20, 2007


US pork producers drafts next Farm Bill



The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has outlined to lawmakers the country's pork producers' demand in their next Farm Bill.


Presently, there are several bills filed in the Congress that could become unfavourable for pork producers in marketing their hogs, including a ban on meat packers using contract growers and a equipment that packers buy at least 25 percent on their pigs on the so-called spot market.


NPPC past President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Nebraska told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry that these actions against packers will not necessarily benefit pork producers in the long run unless packers have been proven guilty.


NPPC urged lawmakers concerned about competition and concentration in the livestock industry to look at transactions rather than structures to determine if markets are working.


In 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 production.
    • 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 supply.
    • 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 mechanisms.
    • 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 animal productivity.
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