USDA Takes Another Step to Assist Those Struggling Because of Drought
In another effort to help the farmers, ranchers, small businesses and communities impacted by the drought - U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA's intent to purchase up to 170-million dollars of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish for federal food nutrition assistance programs. Vilsack says the purchases will assist those producers currently struggling due to challenging market conditions and the high cost of feed resulting from the widespread drought. He says they will also help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs.
USDA's intention is to purchase up to 100-million dollars of pork products, up to 10-million dollars of catfish products, up to 50-million dollars in chicken products and up to 10-million dollars of lamb products for federal nutrition assistance programs - including food banks. The purchases of pork, lamb and catfish are based on analyses of current market conditions.
National Pork Producers Council President R.C. Hunt says USDA's pork purchase will help pork producers who are struggling with the effects of the severe drought. He says many producers face the prospect of severe losses because of record-high feed prices - which have gone up because of the drought. He says NPPC will continue to work with USDA to help pork producers through the current crisis.
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