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Swine flu mis-naming still affecting pig producers

A report released by The Congressional Research Service indicates that 25-33% of US hog producers may be adversely impacted by the A-H1N1 flu, originally called the "swine flu," with the US pork industry potentially losing up to $400 million in the next few months due to lower market prices.

"Reduced demand for pork could have adverse ripple effects throughout the hog sector, resulting in production changes as producers respond to lower prices," the report states. "Hog producers may choose to curtail planned farrowing and/or decrease their demand for weaned feeder pigs; or they may choose to liquidate or reduce herd sizes, if lower prices result in low/negative meat-to-feed profit margins."

"Before the flu outbreak, pork producers were losing money, but things were looking up because we were heading into the grilling season. When this flu was misnamed, things went south, and producers' losses nearly doubled," said Neil Dierks, chief executive officer of the National Pork Producers Council. 

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