WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture recently made a Section 32 purchase of $50.1 million of pork for several food nutrition and assistance programs.

According to the Capital Update from the National Pork Producers Council, a Section 32 purchase from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) can provide much-needed support to the wholesale pork market and hog market while also securing affordable, nutritious pork products for USDA recipient programs.

“NPPC applauds USDA’s purchase and looks forward to continuing to work with the administration to identify additional opportunities to find support for US pork producers during these challenging market conditions.”

NPPC added that the US pork industry continues to be in the worst five months of average losses in 20 years. The association stated that the current decline in producer profitability results from steady to slightly higher hog supplies combined with weaker wholesale pork demand, resulting in lower year-over-year hog prices met with record-high production costs.

More than $1.4 billion in industry losses have been reported over the last five months, according to NPPC, calculated as the average per-head loss multiplied by the number of hogs slaughtered through November of 2022 through March 2023.

Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 195 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to make commodity purchases, entitlement purchases and disaster assistance using funds appropriated from US annual customs receipts.