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The 25 Percent Solution for Iowa Pork Producers

January 11, 2007

Last year, Senator Grassley tried and failed to get a provision through Congress that would require a percentage of all hogs to be sold on the open market instead of being raised and slaughtered by packers. During this session of the legislature there will be a bill introduced to require a quarter of all hogs to be sold on the open market. Kevin Miskell, vice president of the Iowa Farmers Union, says it could be a model for national legislation.

"If we can get it through here in Iowa, I think there is a very good chance. I know there's are a lot of other states that are watching this."

Miskell says the bill would level the playing field for Iowa producers who are being squeezed out of the business by the current system.

"This would require enough of the market to at least be open that we could hopefully get a fair price for our independents."

Miskell says the proposed Iowa law would stipulate that packers must purchase 25 percent of their daily kill on the open market and not from one another.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA