Economists expect US swine industry to shrink
Agricultural economists are concerned that the pork
sector will get smaller as prices rise in the wake of more ethanol demand. Pork
producers may suffer the most as the shift from food and feed supplier to energy
Iowa State University livestock economist, John
, believes that if corn prices continue to rise to US$4 a bushel, the
pork industry will lose 10 - 15% of its animals nationwide.
Some economists expect farmers who are corn producers, but who also
raise hogs, to be some of the first to exit the swine industry.
Glenn Grimes, University of Missouri economist
says, ''Right now, farmers are feeding hogs to make extra money and have a
source of fertiliser for their farm. Once they begin to lose money on those
hogs, their interest in raising them dissipates.''
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