Ag News

COVID-19 A “Slow-Moving Disaster” Causing $5 Billion In Hog Losses

IARN — The stories we have heard for the past few months have been heart-wrenching. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a backlog of hogs to be processed across the country. This backlog meant many farmers had to donate processed hogs to various food pantry programs or make the choice of euthanizing perfectly healthy animals. The losses to hog farmers across the country are almost unfathomable. The effects have yet to have a full impact in some cases, and we may not be done.

On Monday, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) talked about the need for Congress to act on help for livestock farmers, especially hog producers, who had to make some difficult decisions. Dr. Steve Meyer is an economist with Kearns and Associates. He analyzed the impact on hog farmers by comparing hog prices on March 1st and July 10th. He said the loss in revenue to hog farmers is an estimated $4.7 billion dollars. When you add in the costs of euthanasia, disposal, or donation, the losses come in around $5 billion dollars.

Meyer called this a “slow-moving disaster.” He said that we may not see the pork values recover.

For more on this story, including comments from Dr. Meyer, visit the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

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