Productions concerns weigh on pork producers
Labor shortages, transportation bottlenecks and environmental regulations are some of the top concerns for pork producers at the Nebraska Pork Expo.
Jared Lierman owns an 8,000 wean to finish operation near Beemer and tells Brownfield he would like to see the cap for applications in the H-2A visa program lifted to help provide seasonal workers.
“With pork production, you don’t have seasons. It’s year round. You only have 10,000 applicants throughout the entire U.S. That doesn’t go very far.”
He says the H-2A program has 20,000 applications per year, but 10,000 are allocated for dairy producers and would like to workers to work year-round.
Russ Vering is a contract feeder and a board member on the National Pork Producers Council. He says environmental regulations like California’s Proposition 12 could limit market access and drive down pork prices.
“We can’t convert our whole industry quick enough to be able to displace the amount of pork that won’t be able to be shipped into California.”
Mark Wright with Wiechman Pig Company says some producers are struggling to get their product to market.
“Ports are another issue to get our product out and export them. Transportation right now in the Midwest – we need to get more transporters to haul our animals.”
And, they say, enhancing biosecurity efforts to protect against foreign animal diseases like African Swine Fever is also a priority.