The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is contesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) decision to furlough its Market News Service employees as part of the federal government shutdown.
The Market News Service publishes live hog and pork pricing information. NPPC said the industry considers the Mandatory Price Reporting daily reports essential because the information serves as a reference point for buyers and sellers. The agency stopped publishing the reports because market news was deemed "non-essential" under USDA's shutdown contingency plans.
"NPPC is looking at all available options, including asking the Obama administration to declare Mandatory Price Reporting 'essential' since it is mandatory," said David Warner, director of communications for NPPC.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) joined in the request of USDA for a limited resumption of mandatory price reports for lamb to provide accurate market information and support for LRP-lamb insurance.
ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick remarked that the lamb industry experienced two weeks several years ago without any mandatory market reports and it was unsettling.
"Companies by law are required to submit all the reports electronically anyway, they are just not accessible to the public," concluded Orwick.