Noem signs executive order giving S.D. pork producers flexibilityNoem signs executive order giving S.D. pork producers flexibility
Producers will be allowed to temporary overstock pork operations above maximum animal number due to the COVID-19 pandemic and market disruptions.
April 20, 2020
On Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order giving the state's pork producers more flexibility to confront diminished markets. The order comes after news earlier today that JBS USA was closing its Worthington, Minn., pork production facility indefinately due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The facility processes 20,000 hogs per day.
During today's press conference, Noem noted that the state's pork producers' options are "very limited" right now with Smithfield's Sioux Falls plant also closed due to COVID-19. More than 500 independent producers supply hogs to the Sioux Falls processing facility, making the plant an important part of the country's food supply of pork and an important market for South Dakota pork producers.
The executive order, SDCL 34-48A, orders and directs the following:
Section 1 State Flexibility
Subject to appropriate notice to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the department shall exert regulatory flexibility for the temporary overstocking of pork operations above their maximum permitted animal number due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pork market disruption caused by the closure of a regional pork processing plant until market opportunities are restored for those animals.
Section 2 Suspension of County Enforcement
Noem temporarily suspends the authority granted to the board of county commissioners in SDCL 11-2-25 from being used to enforce violations of the overstocking of pork operations above the maximum permitted animal number due the COVID-19 pandemic and pork market disruption caused by the closure of a regional pork processing plant.
Section 3 Continued Compliance
Pork producers affected by this executive order should maintain proper soil testing and manure management protocols and diligently strive to attain the limits of all permits as soon as practical.
During the press conference Noem also noted a formal report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's tour last week of the Smithfield Sioux Falls plant will be available soon. The report for the plant will include recommendations to take to protect employees so it can reopen. There are nearly 900 COVID-19 cases attributed to the plant's employees and their close contacts.
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