Prop 12 Delays Gives Iowa Pork Producers More Time To Prepare
Prop 12 has been a big topic in the pork industry for a while now and with the new year, producers were preparing to see some big changes. This week, a judge in California halted the law from taking effect. Steve Meyer an Economist with Partners for Production Agriculture spoke to pork producers at the Iowa Pork Congress about the latest update on the law. I spoke with Meyer after his seminar.
So, what’s been going on with Prop 12?
Well, there’s a lot. Prop 12 of course is a law in California that limits pork sold in California. The primary feature of it was supposed to go into effect on January 1 of this year. So, pigs born January 1 or after would have to be from sows that were housed in a certain way, and the most critical feature that is 24 square feet per sow, which is larger than what hardly any operations in the United States can offer.
It's been delayed by a judge in California that said, no, they don't have the final rules done, it'll be 180 days after those final rules. And then it's been appealed to the US Supreme Court by the National Pork Producers Council, and the American Farm Bureau Federation and the court is still considering whether to hear that appeal of whether to let prop 12 become law or not.
And you were saying that there was an announcement this week around it what was this week's announcement
A judge in California, granted a petition by several groups of California retailers’, restaurants, a Hispanic Market Association that asked for it to be delayed because here’s of law that supposedly went into effect January 1, 2022., that the California Department of Agriculture hasn't even written the final rules to tell us what we're exactly what are supposed to do to meet the law.
And they filed a lawsuit, this judge agreed with him and said ‘Well at least we're going to delay the imposition of this thing until 180 days after the California Department of Ag promulgates those final rules.
Meyer says that an effect of Prop 12 is the possibility of a surplus of pork in the United States, but how would Iowa producers be be impacted by this?
Well, in Iowa- we don't have many people in Iowa. So it's not the most important place for a surplus. We produce a way more pork here than we ever eat. But the more what it will do is have a negative impact on markets on the wholesale market.
So, I would figure that if we have seven and a half percent more product, which is my calculations, if California doesn't get enough sales to serve California. We'd probably see wholesale pork prices go down 10 or 12%. And those would eventually get passed along to consumers someday.