U.S. District Court Judge Richard Enslen has granted USDA request to postpone the pork checkoff hearing until Friday, March 16. This means the National Pork Producers Council, Michigan Pork Producers Association and a group of independent producers will have to wait another six weeks to present its case.

Last month, USDA announced that pork producers had voted down the $54-million program. The plaintiffs then filed a lawsuit claiming Secretary Dan Glickman did not have the authority to call for a referendum with an insufficient amount of valid signatures and that there were a number of irregularities in the voting process. A week after the lawsuit was filed, the judge granted the producers’ request for a temporary restraining order against USDA, allowing the checkoff to continue until the case is settled in court.