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Smithfield to reduce sow herd by 5 percent

Smithfield Foods has announced that it will cut its US sow herd by 4-5% or 40,000 to 50,000 sows — a move that will ultimately result in production of 800,000 to 1 million fewer market hogs annually.

The company raises 18 million market hogs annually at present and will begin introducing these changes immediately.

Reasons
"Given the economics for raising hogs today, we cannot continue on the current path; something has to change," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.

"Grain costs continue at record levels, with the potential of escalating, given the current US government policy favouring corn for ethanol. Today the economics are very challenging, and we believe that these increased costs will translate eventually into still higher food costs for the American consumer. In the meantime, Smithfield is taking immediate action to improve the efficiencies of our live production operations."

Smithfield is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and packaged meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs with sales of US$12b.

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• Smithfield Foods

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