Graves Urges Biden Administration to Maintain Pork Processing Capacity

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Upon news that the United States District Court vacated a portion of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) rule on administrative grounds, Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) urged USDA Secretary Vilsack and Acting Solicitor General Prelogar to take immediate action to preserve swine processing capacity.

“This decision could cost hog farmers more than $80 million this year alone,” said Graves. “Pork producers already weathered a tough 2020, when many were forced to kill thousands of head because packing plants closed and slowed down to deal with COVID-19. We simply can’t afford to lose processing capacity to administrative technicalities. The Administration needs to move quickly to fix this.”

The Court ruling, which determined the USDA didn’t satisfy the Administrative Procedures Act, would reduce national packing capacity by 2.5 percent, according to research from Dr. Dermot Hayes at Iowa State University. That reduction would create a surplus of hogs on the market, dropping prices by $10.70/cwt or roughly $23.22 per animal. The total economic loss of this decision on U.S. hog farmers is estimated at $80 million in 2021 alone.

Congressman Graves joined 72 other members of Congress in requesting the Biden Administration take action to defend the NSIS program through all available channels to preserve packing capacity.

You can read the full text of Congressman Graves’ letter to Secretary Vilsack here.

You can read the full text of Congressman Graves’ letter to Acting Solicitor General Prelogar here.