In this file:


·         Hog Producers See Hope After the Wreck of 2020

·         Pork Industry Struggled but Found Its Footing During COVID-19 Crisis



Hog Producers See Hope After the Wreck of 2020


By Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork 

March 31, 2021


For John Nalivka, president of Sterling Marketing, the March Hogs and Pigs Report showed that there’s a great deal of caution in the pork industry right now despite some of the highest prices the industry has seen in some time.


“As we look back at what happened with the plant shutdowns as a result of COVID last spring and the backlog of hogs, the entire situation may not have been a disaster, but it certainly was a wreck,” Nalivka says. “I think this report really shows that producers are very, very cautious about this entire situation until we know we're out of this and we're moving forward.”


Although prices are high, he adds there is still uncertainty and challenge for everyone in the industry, including those in pork procurement for both foodservice and retail as well as processors.


Farrowing Intentions ... 


Carcass Weights ...


The China Trade-Off


Exports and feed prices are two things Nalivka is watching closely this year, especially in regard to China as producers there rebuild their hog herds.


“At some point in the not-too-terribly-distant future, they will have their hog herd put back together and that will impact our pork exports going to China,” he says...


more, including charts



Pork Industry Struggled but Found Its Footing During COVID-19 Crisis


By Karen McMahon, FarmJournal's Pork 

April 1, 2021


The pork industry entered one of its darkest periods in spring 2020 when COVID-19 forced the shutdown of several pork packing plants. Paul Yeske, DVM, Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn., helped hog producers in the area work through the closures.


“Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the first plants that ended up closing,” Yeske told Pig Health Today. “The biggest concern was that we didn’t know when the plants would open again, and we didn’t know [at] what capacity.


“As more things started to happen, the plants learned how to manage it more,” he continued. “I think that helped further down the road for people who were involved later to be less impacted.”


Wheels Came Off


During the turmoil, the pork industry realized its efficient pork-producing and processing system had no room for errors.


“I think we learned just how good a system we had on a just-in-time delivery,” Yeske explained. “Producers and packers had been incentivized every step along the way to make the system more efficient and to have no slack in it.


“All of a sudden we couldn’t operate it, and then the wheels came off the wagon pretty fast.”


At that point, tough decisions faced producers, including euthanasia. “I think no one understands just how hard it is on people until they have to do it,” Yeske said. “No one can really appreciate that until they have to make that decision…and have to actually physically do the job.”


It was also something the pork industry thought it was ready to handle in the case of a foreign animal disease but really was not.


Plans Gone Awry ...


Making the Best of It ...