For the Week Ending April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

For the Week Ending April 12, 2019 

PORK PRODUCERS SEEK TRADE, ANIMAL DISEASE PREVENTION AND LABOR SOLUTIONS

NPPC this week hosted its Spring Legislative Action Conference where more than 100 U.S. pork producers gathered in Washington to meet with their representatives in Congress. Topics of discussion included solutions for trade, animal disease preparedness and agriculture’s labor shortage. Producers urged their representatives to:

  • Advocate for the quick completion of a trade deal with Japan at a time when new trade agreements Japan has formed with other countries are threatening U.S. pork market share in its largest value market. U.S.-Japan trade negotiations are set to begin next week.
  • Vote to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to secure long-term zero-tariff pork trade in North America.
  • Mitigate the risk of animal disease in the United States by: 1) allocating appropriations funding for 600 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspectors to further strengthen defenses against African swine fever (ASF) and other animal diseases and 2) signing a letter of support that calls for the USDA to implement the Farm Bill as intended, including development of a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
  • Address U.S. agriculture’s labor shortage challenge by reforming the H-2A visa program to include year-round agricultural workers and asked for support to place for oversight of this program with the USDA.

 

NPPC CANCELS WORLD PORK EXPO 2019

The NPPC board of directors this week announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions.  African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease. NPPC appreciates the widespread support from its members and so many U.S. pork stakeholders for this difficult decision.  Our top priority is the health of the U.S. swine herd and the livelihoods of America’s pork producers. For a list of frequently asked questions on the cancellation World Pork Expo, click here.

 

AGRICULTURAL CENSUS RELEASED

The U.S. Census of Agriculture, issued every five years, was released on Thursday. The 2017 Census of Agriculture highlights demographic shifts since the 2012 survey. It provides data on trends in farm size and consolidation and serves as a tool to help communicate the benefits of agriculture to local economies. Survey results show there were 64,871 operations with hog sales in 2017, up nearly 9,000 since 2012. Additionally, 50.2% of total farm sales in the U.S. in 2017 were from animals and animal products as was the case in 2002 and 2007, but not 2012.