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How Far Will the Pendulum Swing in the Pork Market?

The news cycle for the hog industry seems to ramp up and get rolling very quickly, said AgriTalk host Chip Flory on Monday.

From a bullish Hogs and Pigs Report to news of a new African swine fever (ASF) vaccine candidate, there’s some price-positive news flowing right now.

Reports point to some plans for expansion, but it seems fairly conservative. Why are pig farmers holding back right now, Flory asked his guest Terry Wolters, Minnesota pig farmer and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council.

“Unfortunately, we have a tendency to take those kinds of markets and then run off to do something. Now, maybe because of the COVID-19 situation where we don't have access to supplies and we can't rapidly build barns, that might slow some of that. But generally, we swing the pendulum a little too far occasionally and that gets us in trouble as well,” Wolters said.

Speaking of expansion, Flory brought up Vilsack’s announcement about USDA’s $100-million investment in meat processing. The funding, from the American Rescue Plan Act, is intended to help expand meat processing capacity and the number of processors in the meat and poultry supply chain.

“It’s good news all the way around, isn’t it?” Flory asked.

Wolters said the investment in development sounds great, but he doesn’t believe it will address the shortfall seen in meat packing industry now.

“I think that that's a great announcement to encourage that development,” Wolters said. “Unfortunately, I'll just be honest, I feel like I'm not sure where we're going to get the labor to develop those kinds of projects. We're struggling with labor in our current facilities.”

Not only is the meat packing industry struggling to get people in the plants, but they are not able to process pigs at the rate they could or should be in current facilities, he added.

“I appreciate their offer and help. But at the same time, it's not really going to make up the shortfall that we have in harvest capacity,” Wolters said.

Par : Jennifer Shike (05/10/2021)

Source :

Photo : National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff (tirée de l'article de Pork Business)

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