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Pork Producers Facing $5 Billion in Losses

Cindy Zimmerman

With an estimated two million hogs still backed-up on farms, the nation’s pork producers are facing $5 billion in losses and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is urging Congress to act swiftly to preserve their livelihoods.

“Many U.S. hog farmers will not survive this crisis,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin, during a press call on Monday. “As the Senate begins work on the next COVID relief package, we urge lawmakers to provide a critical lifeline to hog farmers across the nation to minimize what has already been significant damage to our producers.”

According to an analysis by Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates, based on lean hog futures prices on March 1 and July 10 and actual hog prices in the interim, potential 2020 revenue from hog sales has been reduced by roughly $4.7 billion. Other losses associated with euthanasia, disposal and donation of pigs with no market outlet and insufficient space to hold them mean U.S. pork producers have lost nearly $5 billion in actual and potential profits for 2020 and those losses are expected to continue into 2021.

Earlier this month, Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020, providing compensation for farmers who are forced to euthanize or donate animals that can’t be processed into the food supply as a result of COVID-19, among other provisions. NPPC strongly supports this legislation, as well as additional federal assistance championed by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and urges Congress to quickly address this unprecedented crisis plaguing pork producers.

Roth and Meyer participated in a press conference on Monday, with additional comments from NPPC CEO Neil Dierks and Nick Giordano, NPPC Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Affairs.

Listen to the call:
NPPC press call 7-20-20

Audio, NPPC, Pork