Cost Of Raising Hogs On The Rise, But There's Still Bacon

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Some countries around the world are expecting a bacon shortage next year. Great Britain and others in Europe are bracing consumers for that now.

But what about a bacon shortage here?

There are about 900 hogs in this barn. No shortage of pork here. In about a month or so these will be at the packer and eventually to your store shelves."

What’s terrible, say pork producers Jerry Morris and Josh Bohrn, is the cost of raising hogs.

The two run what’s known as “a wean to finish” operation in Harvey County. Just weaned pigs come here, where they’re fattened until it’s time to send them to the packer and on to the grocers.

"In the pork business you've got your highs and you've got your lows," Morris says.

The highs right now are feed prices due to drought-caused shortages.

"Your grain, your corn, your soybean meal is devastating," says Morris.

The lows are prices producers are getting, which Morris shows in a market newsletter.

"That is terrible," he says. "It just continues to go down. It'll come a time when hopefully it'll turn around."

Britain’s national pig association is predicting a world shortage of bacon and other pork products next year due to drought issues.

"It's a possibility that it becomes too expensive to raise to where the agricultural producer just can't do it,” Morris says. He can't stand the loss that long."

Morris is on the Kansas pork association’s board. The head of the KPA says he’s never seen a time in the US when there wasn’t bacon to buy.

Morris agrees and gives bacon lovers this reassurance: "Here in this country you won't see a shortage of pork, no."

He says many pork producers are losing money now, because the price of pork at the market hasn’t caught up with the price increases feed producers have to pay now.

So, he expects pork prices will climb as farmers cut back on production. He says there’s still bacon.

The pork producers say if Great Britain or Europe has a shortage of bacon, come here. There's plenty of bacon here and they'll supply it to them...for a price.

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