Higher feed prices will present a big challenge to livestock, dairy and poultry producers over the next few months.
But Purdue University livestock economist Chris Hurt says the pork industry may be especially hard hit—and could be facing financial disaster.
Hurt says the estimated costs of pork production are expected to reach record high levels in the third quarter of July, August and September, “and that’s about 72 dollars per live hundredweight—and that drops a little bit for the fall and winter to around 69 dollars—but those are record high costs of production.”
And Hurt says hog losses are anticipated to be about 20 dollars per head for the next three quarters.
“There’s just little hope to cover those costs until feed prices can hopefully come down in the fall of 2013,” he says, “but that’s more than a year away at this point—and that certainly is a long horizon of losses.”
Hurt says pork producers can be expected to respond by marketing animals more quickly and at lower weights. In the last three weeks, the average live weight has dropped from 277 to 274 pounds. Hurt says further reductions should be expected in coming weeks.