Costs High for Pig Farmers Today, But Profits Still There

Exports are Booming and Supply is Short, Says Pork Board CEO

 

By Betsy Freese, Successful Farming

Agriculture.com - 6/7/2021

 

World Pork Expo returns to Des Moines, Iowa, on June 9-10, so we asked Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board, a few questions about the swine industry.

 

SF: JBS was hit by a cyberattack recently. Is this something that concerns you?

 

BE: Yes. We have a checklist of best practices and a cyber security expert available for help. We had the state associations double-check their systems to make sure they are carrying whatever level of cyber security they can afford. Itís all part of overall crisis planning for the industry. Regardless of what black swan event comes after you, you should have backup plans in place. Itís a criminal business enterprise and the new norm. It will take awhile for industry and law enforcement to get caught up. Itís international in scope, and that makes it even more difficult to manage.

 

SF: What concerns do you hear from producers right now?

 

BE: There are a lot of conversations around the policy direction the Biden administration will focus on. And of course, people are looking at operational costs, including feed inputs and material costs. Whether itís lumber, steel, concrete, or labor Ė everything is at an entirely new level. New barn construction is 20% to 30% higher in costs. Producers are primarily focused on operational efficiency.

 

SF: What is the disease situation in the country? ...

 

SF: What is top of mind for the Pork Board? ...

 

SF: Speaking of labor, how rough is it out there? ...

 

SF: What did the pork industry learn from the pandemic? ...

 

SF: How much are producers concerned with corn and soybean prices? ...

 

SF: Are you still concerned with African swine fever? ...

 

SF: What are other priorities for the Board? ...

 

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