The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the largest farm organization in the U.S., has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy more pork to help boost prices.
The purchases would be made under Section 32, a permanent appropriation USDA uses to support non-farm program commodities such as beef and pork. The food is used in federal nutrition programs such as school lunches and prisons.
“Additional Section 32 purchases would help the pork industry at this critical time,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “We request that you evaluate such a purchase for the benefits that it would provide both producers and consumers.”
According to AFBF, prices for live market hogs have plunged to levels not seen in nearly a decade. On April 1, wholesale pork prices hit their lowest level in four years at $54.87 per hundredweight, only to rebound somewhat later in the week. Yet, despite the small increase, producers still face uncertainty and a dismal outlook for their industry, Stallman said in a release.