Extension and Ag Research News


Pork Supplies Up, Hog Prices Drop

Swine producers are recovering from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreak and expanding production.

Hog prices are the lowest they have been since November 2009.

That’s because swine herds are recovering from the outbreak of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and many pork producers have expanded production, resulting in a large supply of pork on the market, North Dakota State University Extension Service swine specialist David Newman says.

PEDv, which has killed an estimated 9 million pigs since 2013, sent hog prices soaring to record highs in 2014.

Now that the virus is getting under control, livestock market analysts are predicting record hog production, which could send prices even lower.

While low hog prices are good news for consumers, who are paying less for bacon, ham and other pork products, they’re not good news for swine producers.

“However, feed prices, driven by low corn and soybean meal costs, are also very low, which does help soften the losses for producers,” Newman says.

Although new vaccines and hogs developing immunity to PEDv have slowed the spread of the disease, swine producers still need to have biosecurity in place to prevent the loss of livestock from diseases.

“PEDv is still a very serious threat to the swine herd, which could result in substantial losses for producers if affected,” Newman says. “Although the number of outbreaks has slowed, there are still producers in our region who are battling the effects of PEDv.”

The best defense against diseases is to use good biosecurity practices, he notes. Those practices include cleaning and disinfecting trailers used to transport pigs, and washing boots and clothing before and after being around pigs. It also includes establishing a line of separation between the clean area (the barn) and the dirty area (anywhere outside the barn), and requiring employees and visitors to adhere to this strict policy.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Dec. 2, 2015

Source:David Newman, (701) 231-7366, david.newman@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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