WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a decrease of the Pork Checkoff assessment rate. Currently, producers pay $0.40 per $100 (.4%) of value when pigs are sold, or pork products are imported to the United States. The USDA suggests a decrease to .35%.

Assessments are established annually based on US market prices for hogs and are authorized by the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1985. The National Pork Board, whose decisions are overseen by the USDA, uses the assessments to fund promotional and educational activities to strengthen the pork industry.

The National Pork Producers Delegate Body voted in favor of the assessment decrease on March 9-11.

The USDA said by decreasing the assessment rate, there would consequently be a decrease in funds for the promotion, research and consumer information program by an estimated $13.5 million annually.