Officials from three state Farm Bureaus have asked for more help for pork producers confronted by depressed live hog prices.

Pork prices are running $15-25/cwt. less than a year ago, the result of large meat inventories and limited slaughter capacity.

Iowa, Illinois and Indiana groups thanked the Agriculture Department (USDA) for its recent $30-million purchase of pork products for the school lunch and breakfast programs.

But they urged additional purchases for humanitarian assistance and use of the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food for Progress Program.

The Farm Bureau leaders also requested that USDA help set up meetings with packers and retailers to develop solutions for the industry. The group encouraged investment in the packing industry. There hasn’t been a single new plant built in the U.S. since 1989, while several have closed during that period.