A spokesman for the USDA says they don’t have the funds for additional pork purchases at this time, according to the Des Moines Register. The statement came in response to a request made by Iowa Gov. Chet Culver and eight other governors. The USDA spokesman said it is short on funds to prop up hog prices by buying up more pork.

“Due to economic conditions, the value of requests for commodity purchases far exceeds the amount of remaining funding, but we will continue to monitor market developments and make decisions accordingly,” USDA spokesman Justin DeJong said Wednesday.

The governors made their request after hog prices fell below 50 cents per pound on the Chicago futures markets. Hogs had sold for as much as 72 cents per pound as recently as May.

This fiscal year, USDA has bought $117 million worth of pork products for government nutrition assistance programs. The governors had requested the department to buy $50 million more.

Source: The Des Moines Register