Our exclusive Pork Powerhouses survey shows that most producers are in action as hog prices plummet and grain prices rise into the fourth quarter.
You need to travel across the border to find much excitement among the Pork Powerhouses. With only 60,000 new sows added, our nation’s pig business is slow compared to our neighbors.
You need only look north to see where dirt is moving in the pork industry. A few years ago we looked south to North Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma. No longer.
The pork industry was stunned, but not really surprised when word came September 1 that Smithfield Foods had signed a letter of intent to acquire Murphy Family Farms.
It’s going to be bloody. That’s the consensus of the 50 largest pork producers in the U.S. as they look toward the next few months.
Over 300,000 new sows have gone into production since last fall by the nation’s largest pork producers. Cheaper feed and better hog prices spurred these farms into aggressive expansion.
You might think big pig expansion would grind to a halt with $4 corn. Not so. The 43 operations owning 10,000 sows or more grew by 18% in the past year.
Quite a year. That’s a simplified description of the ups and downs in the hog industry during the past 12 months.
The tremendous growth in North Carolina may begin to slow soon. The state will be “maxed out in 18 months” for pigs unless more slaughter capacity is added, says one large producer.