USDA Purchasing Pork

Up to $50 million in pork product being bought for domestic feeding programs.

USDA has announced a purchase that will address the needs of both the pork industry and the nation's feeding programs. The purchase of $50 million worth of pork products for the child nutrition and other domestic feeding programs is meant to help the pork industry that is suffering from doubling feed prices.

The nation's pork producers spoke with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer about the struggle the industry is facing due to high feed costs. This purchase is the first response.

"Government definitely has a role on a transitional basis," Schafer says. "We can buy food that changes demand; provide transitional costing structures for feed. We're looking at a wide variety of issues right now."

According to USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam the purchase will have an impact.

"It will definitely provide some psychological boost to the markets and probably help support pork prices," Shagam says. "I really can't put a number on how much it will cause prices to increase, but to the extent that it does help the producer's bottom line it is a useful program from their standpoint."

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