For the Week Ending October 1, 2021
VILSACK ANNOUNCES $500 MILLION FOR FIGHT AGAINST ASF
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Wednesday announced that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will get $500 million in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds for the prevention of and preparation for African swine fever (ASF). The CCC is a wholly-owned government corporation created in 1933 to implement specific agricultural programs established by Congress and to carry out other activities. NPPC hailed the move as unprecedented both in terms of the amount dedicated to one animal disease and the funds being provided upfront, before the disease is in the United States. Ever since ASF began spreading through Asia in 2018, NPPC has been urging Congress and USDA to prepare for the disease, asking for, among other things, funds for additional U.S. agricultural inspectors, more staff for USDA’s Veterinary Services, equipment for APHIS’s Veterinary Stockpile to euthanize hogs and expanded testing capacity for ASF. The organization also has been educating U.S. pork producers about precautions they should take to protect the U.S. swine herd, including using caution when hosting on-farm visitors from ASF-positive regions of the world, reviewing biosecurity protocols to ensure the consistent practice of appropriate safeguards and discussing with feed suppliers the origin of ingredients they use in hog feed formulas.
NPPC, FARM BUREAU PETITION SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE AGAINST PROP. 12
NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation this week petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their challenge to California’s Proposition 12, which would ban the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s new housing standards. The organizations are appealing a July ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that found despite NPPC and AFBF plausibly alleging that Prop. 12 “will have dramatic upstream effects and require pervasive changes to the pork industry nationwide,” 9th Circuit precedent wouldn’t allow the case to continue. That precedent, however, runs counter to numerous Supreme Court decisions and conflicts with other federal circuit courts. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Prop. 12 will prohibit the sale of pork from hogs born to sows raised – anywhere in the world – in pens that do not comply with California’s highly prescriptive housing standards. It applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether produced there or outside its borders. Nearly all pork currently produced in the United States fails to meet California’s arbitrary standards. To continue selling pork to the 40 million consumers who live in California, which represents about 15 percent of the U.S. pork market, pork producers would need to switch to alternative sow housing systems. Industry cost estimates for converting sow barns or building new ones to meet the Prop. 12 standards are in the billions of dollars.
LIVESTOCK PRICE REPORTING AUTHORITY EXTENDED THROUGH 2021
Congress this week as part of a short-term funding measure approved a nine-week extension of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act (LMRA), which requires meatpackers to report to USDA the prices they pay for cattle, hogs and lambs and other information. USDA publishes twice-daily reports with pricing information, contracting for purchase, supply and demand conditions for livestock, livestock production and livestock product values. NPPC had been urging the Biden administration and congressional lawmakers to ensure that LMRA authorization did not lapse with the end of the 2021 fiscal year, which concluded yesterday, or because of a government shutdown. The continuing resolution passed yesterday by the Senate and House keeps the government funded and LMRA authorized through Dec. 3.
AGRICULTURE GROUPS WANT MORE TIME TO COMMENT ON EPA PESTICIDE DECISION
NPPC this week filed a request on behalf of more than 45 other livestock and agricultural organizations, asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 60-day extension on the comment period for an agency proposal to severely restrict the application of widely used insecticides. Pyrethrins and Piperonyl, included on EPA’s list of potentially affected insecticides, are widely used tools by livestock and poultry farmers to control insects and other bugs, maintain biosecurity and eliminate the spread of disease, the agricultural groups pointed out in their request to have the comment period extended through Dec. 3. The organizations want the extension because, although EPA began this review over 11 years ago and published its interim decision on the insecticides on Aug. 3, 2021, the agency failed to provide any notice to end-users and other stakeholders of its actions. NPPC was only made aware of EPA’s proposal on Sept. 28, just six days before the close of the comment period.
UK BEGINS TALKS TO JOIN CPTPP
The United Kingdom this week began negotiations with the 11 countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership as it moves to join the multilateral trade agreement. The CPTPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, some of the world’s largest pork-consuming nations. In June, the U.K. started the process of joining the trade bloc. Joining the CPTPP is among NPPC’s top trade priorities. The United States was part of the trade pact’s predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which NPPC strongly supported, but the Trump administration withdrew from the deal before it was finalized. On Tuesday, NPPC Vice President and Counsel, Global Government Nick Giordano will promote U.S. participation in the CPTPP during a panel hosted by the Global Business Dialogue.
LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS CAN SIGN UP FOR COVID INDEMNITY PROGRAM
A reminder that livestock producers who suffered COVID-related losses because of reductions in harvest capacity have until Oct. 12 to apply for USDA’s Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP). The majority of the program’s more than $300 million in payments is expected to be directed to pork producers and to livestock farmers who had to depopulate their herds between March 1 and Dec. 26, 2020. To be eligible, producers must have had an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018. PLIP covers 80 percent of the loss of eligible livestock and the cost of depopulation and disposal of animals.
USDA TO HOLD WEBINARS ON LIVESTOCK MANDATORY REPORTING
USDA will hold a series of educational webinars on the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) Program for pork producers. Set for Oct. 12, 19 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central Time, the webinars will feature USDA Market News staff and a panel of pork industry representatives who will provide an overview of LMR live hog and wholesale pork reporting and how that data can be used to make marketing decisions at the farm and other points in the supply chain. NPPC Staff Economist Holly Cook and NPPC Manager of Competition, Labor and Tax Issues Jack Detiveaux manage LMR and competition issues for NPPC.