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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Pork Producers Adjusting to Changing Hog Business, Says Roy Lee Lindsey

Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:08:49 CDT

Oklahoma Pork Producers Adjusting to Changing Hog Business, Says Roy Lee Lindsey The makeup of the U.S. pork business is changing. The pork industry was taken by surprise when Cargill agreed to sell its U.S. pork business to JBS earlier this month for $1.45 billion, a deal that would combine two of the country's largest pork processors. Oklahoma Pork Council Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey said this acquisition gets JBS into pork production.

"So, they went from having no sow herd, if you will, no hog production to acquiring 160 - thousand head of sows from Cargill," Lindsey said. "Some of those are here in Oklahoma, the biggest farm of that is out in Texas, it's the old Premium Standard facility at Dalhart."

With this purchase, Lindsey said JBS doubled their daily pork slaughter capacity in buying the Cargill's processing plants in Iowa and Illinois. Though the sale is subject to regulatory review and approval.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently caught up with Roy Lee Lindsey. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to my full interview.

Oklahoma's pork producers continue to watch Congress for movement on major legislation like Country-of-Origin Labeling. The House of Representatives passed legislation to repeal COOL, so it's now in the hands of the Senate to address COOL. Lindsey is discouraged by the slowness of the Senate to repeal COOL. He said the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the current U.S. labeling law in noncompliant and it has to be repealed as that's the only way the WTO can keep Canada and Mexico from establishing retaliatory tariffs on goods out of the United States. Lindsey said the COOL law has to go away or the folks on the farm are ultimately going to pay for it.

Agriculture continues to fight back against the 'Waters of the US' (WOTUS) final rule. Lawsuits continued to be filed over the Clean Water rule that goes into effect in August. Lindsey said the Oklahoma Pork Council supports all efforts by the National Pork Producers Council, Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt and others that have filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.

"I applaud our Attorney General for representing agriculture, for representing landowners in Oklahoma for what is tremendous overreach on the part of EPA," Lindsey said. "I am really proud to be associated with the barnyard that's come out and said we're going to be opposed to this and here's our lawsuit opposing it as well."

It was a year ago, when the pork industry was dealing with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. That outbreak caused thousands of baby pigs to die from the disease. This lead to record high hog prices and record pork prices for consumers. One year later, the industry has recovered. Lindsey said hog numbers are higher today than before the outbreak and producers are finishing hogs to heavier weights, so there is significantly more pork on the market. That has pushed hog prices lower and is making pork less expensive at the grocery store. As consumers look at buying meat, Lindsey encourages Oklahomans to consider pork this grilling season. Try something a little different, like grilling up pork burgers or using ground pork in making tacos or spaghetti.

Roy Lee Lindsey will be joining me for the weekly "In the Field" report on KWTV News 9 in the Oklahoma City market on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.


Ron Hays interviews Roy Lee Lindsey of the Oklahoma Pork Council
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