Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: East

Livestock Risk Management Tool Proposed

Livestock Risk Management Tool Proposed
During the Senate Ag Committee deliberations of the 2012 Farm Bill, one amendment creates protection for the industry in case foreign markets close.

When Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., sat down to the microphone to read her statement into the record during Thursday's markup of the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill, few were seated around the table. She had returned from a break and made sure her statement and proposed amendment were read into the record.

AMENDMENT OFFERED: During her nearly private testimony Thursday, Klobuchar noted that Minnesota is noted as the land of 10,000 lakes, but is in fact also the land of 80,000 farms. Her livestock-focused amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill offers catastrophic risk potential in case foreign markets close to U.S. exports. (Photos from the Klobuchar website)

Turns out that "lonely" statement has some potential healthy impact for the U.S. livestock industry, according to the National Pork Producers Council. Recognizing the global footprint of the U.S. pork industry and its associated risks, Klobuchar got her amendment included in the new farm bill. The amendment, cosponsored by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and part of a package of riders offered as a manager's amendment to the farm legislation, calls for a study on setting up catastrophic risk management insurance for pork producers to cover input costs lost because of an animal disease or event that stops exports of U.S. pork.

"The U.S. pork industry thanks Sen. Klobuchar for her leadership and is grateful to her for sponsoring this much-needed study," said R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C., and president of the National Pork Producers Council. "The increased presence of disease, along with increasing international travel and trade that move diseases around the world, have created an unprecedented risk to the U.S. pork industry. Producers need risk-management tools that can protect them should our export markets close."

The U.S. pork industry in 2011 exported more than $6 billion of product, which accounted for about 27% of total production and supported more than 50,000 jobs. But with that success comes additional risk, according to NPPC. Indeed, U.S. pork exports fell in 2009 after 16 years of record exports because of an outbreak in humans of the H1N1 flu virus that was misnamed "swine flu."

USDA already has a pilot insurance program for hog producers called Livestock Gross Margin, but it has a $3 million limit on spending that restricts the number of pigs that any one producer can insure. Additionally, the program now is available only for a six-month period.

The Klobuchar farm bill amendment would require USDA to study how a catastrophic event insurance program for pork would be structured.


Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.