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Pork Producers Facing Volatility in Market Due to Shutdown

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It has been almost two weeks since the federal government began its shutdown.

And as the political bantering continues, local community members and businesses continue to feel the effects.

Normally when we talk about pork in Washington, we're talking about excessive spending.

But the Minnesota Pork Producers aren't lobbying for extra spending.

With an office based right here in Mankato, the MN Pork Producers are simply asking Congress to reopen the mandatory market reporting.

David Preisler says, "Probably now the one thing that is most important for us is market reporting. There is a program called mandatory price reporting where the government collects prices that are paid to livestock producers from packing companies that has been shutdown."

The mandatory price reporting is to ensure a transparent marketplace, something the Pork Producers say is an essential service.

Pork producers have already asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lobby congress to allow it to reopen, but so far, Congress has not budged, creating headaches for those trying to bring home the bacon.

Preisler says, "We still deliver pigs to markets. The challenge has been to come up with a value to put on them and so far we've been able to work through it, but again, if we don't get it done very quickly in can create some problems."

Things like meat inspections are still going on, but without the market reporting, it could create some volatility in the market.

Preisler says, "Supply and demand changes daily for meat so if demand goes up, hopefully prices go up, if demand goes down, prices go down and so without having that information it makes it difficult to calculate those prices."

But Preisler says you shouldn't worry about your favorite pork chops or ham prices increasing.

Preisler says, "The immediate impact would probably be more on farmers and packers than on consumers. But if it drug out longer, then you could see that impact. But dragging it out that long is probably pretty unlikely. It gives mores uncertainty than anything else."

Uncertainty caused by the squealing in Washington.