Pork producers want appeal of rule that slows down meat packing process

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Packing speed appeal

  A major hog organization is asking the USDA to appeal a decision to slow packing line speeds. During the Trump Administration, a new swine inspection rule was put into place as part of the food safety modernization act. One of its components was allowing for faster line speeds.

  At least five packing plants had been working to get up to speed and implemented the new rule. But a federal judge struck down the ruling, saying the process the government used was unlawful. Now the USDA announced it will not appeal that decision.

  Unions and worker rights groups praised the ruling, criticizing the previous rule and its faster speeds for putting workers at risk. Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council, says he had not seen an increase in worker accidents since the rule began. He wants the Biden Administration to appeal because of how the ruling will impact capacity.

Dr. Dermot Heyes with Iowa State University released an analysis that this could cut 2.5% of national capacity. since higher line speeds had already started, farmers had already implemented production and the judge’s ruling only gives packers three months to stop.

“We have a long production cycle at least 10 months from the time an animal is bred and then that offspring goes to market, in some places even longer,” says Dierks, “So we have animals that are prepared to go through this system, but because of the judges ruling it’s going to reduce capacity to process animals.”

A look at the markets

The markets start the week a bit in the green. Analyst Jamey Kohake has more:

“Starting the week off here we had a gap higher opening last night pretty much all based on dryness and heat in the northern plains this coming week. Had a big upside trade overnight but once the dayside trade started we ran out of gas. But the key here will be today the midday forecast does it continue to set up a bridge or not. And also how the fund money is off to go into Thursday’s wasde report. WASDE report looks to be neutral, tad bit lower carryout in the corn, tad bit higher carryout in the beans and lower numbers coming out of Argentina But that should be in the market. The key here should be is going forward to be able to hold this six dollar market December corn, continue to push near that 15 dollar mark in November beans this week or not. Over to the cattle markets feeders obviously lower to sharply higher corn trade, fats doing nothing again pretty much down 30-40 cents. Cash looks to be stuck at 119-120 look for that to continue this week. Hog trade today a mixed bag. We were sharply higher in June, dying lower now, looking for a good week in cutouts and cash, and looking for the market to hold in the summer months right at 120 and still looking for very good demand overseas.”

Colfax auction results

The Colfax sheep and goat auction on Saturday saw a sale of 754 head of sheep. Feeder lambs fetched the day’s high average price of $2.55 per pound, while fed lambs averaged $2.44 per pound. There were 197 head of goats at the auction which saw a high average price ranging from $100 to $610 per head.

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