As we turn the calendar to 2022, there are a lot of things pork producers need to keep on their radar. Even though we have a new year upon us, most of these issues are simply postponed from 2021, if not beyond.
We always have problems in the supply chain, so it is imperative to maintain or find new markets for American pork products. Sustaining these markets could become even more difficult by what California voters decided in November 2018.
As of this writing, unless some last-minute effort succeeds in stopping the implementation of Proposition 12, an initiative that could change the way pigs across America are raised, it will come into effect. effective January 1. The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation, along with many states, have asked the United States Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the law.
Problems with the accessory 12
What’s wrong with a proposal approved by California voters? Well, proposal 12 establishes minimum requirements for cattle producers to provide more space for laying hens, sows and calves raised for veal. Again, you may ask, what’s the deal with California voters saying hens, sows or gilts, and calves should have more room to live in? Proposition 12 goes on to say that California companies cannot sell uncooked eggs or pork or veal from animals living in homes that do not meet these requirements.
So even if your pigs are raised in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina or elsewhere, if the final pork product is to be sold in the Golden State, your facilities will need to comply with stipulations of Prop 12 or be closed. of the Californian market.
Under Prop 12 regulations, each sow and gilt will be required to have at least 24 square feet of usable floor space. The only time sows or gilts are allowed to enter the individual housing is five days before farrowing and while the gilt is nursing the piglets, as well as for short periods of breeding problems.
Under Prop 12 standards, producers will be required to comply or prohibit the sale of their pork products to the nearly 40 million people of California, a market that consumes about 15% of U.S. pork production.
A study by Barry Goodwin, an agricultural economist at North Carolina State University, finds that the costs of building a new 5,200 sow operation would be $ 15.6 million, while the modernization of an existing barn would cost in average $ 10 per pig, or $ 770 million for the 77 million sows in American pig farms.
It remains to be seen how or if these additional costs will affect prices in supermarkets.
While proponents of Proposition 12 pass the measure off as an initiative for animal welfare and food safety, that thin veil can be lifted to reveal the real intention of advocates – to eliminate animal agriculture. What is it that animal rights activists in other states have not closely followed the progress of Proposal 12, and once the dust settles, will not introduce similar measures? in other states?
While most of the new years ring with optimism, hopes for 2022 may ring hollow, at least when it comes to pig production models and the marketing of the end product. The US pork industry is always undergoing change, and it looks like 2022 will be no different. Proposition 12 and the possible ripple effect could give an entirely different view of the pork production landscape.