July 22, 2022
US pork producers note labour shortages, environmental regulations as key concerns
Labor shortages, transportation bottlenecks and environmental regulations are some of the top concerns for US pork producers at the Nebraska Pork Expo.
Jared Lierman, who owns an 8,000 wean to finish operation near Beemer, Nebraska, told Brownfield he would like to see the cap for applications in the H-2A visa programme lifted to help provide seasonal workers.
"With pork production, you don't have seasons. It's year round," Lierman said. "You only have 10,000 applicants throughout the entire US. That doesn't go very far." He added that the H-2A programme has 20,000 applications per year, but 10,000 are allocated for dairy producers.
Russ Vering, a contract feeder and a board member on the National Pork Producers Council, commented that environmental regulations like California's Proposition 12 could limit market access and drive down pork prices.
"We can't convert our whole industry quick enough to be able to displace the amount of pork that won't be able to be shipped into California," Vering said.
According to Mark Wright of the Wiechman Pig Company, some producers are struggling to get their product to market. He said: "Ports are another issue to get our product out and export them. Transportation right now in the Midwest – we need to get more transporters to haul our animals."
- Brownfield Ag News