Producer warning: High feed cost zaps hog profit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Competition for corn has raised production by about 25 percent in the past year, he says.
calendar icon 11 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

For Gene Gourley, the boom times in the hog business are over. High corn prices, thanks to the ethanol plants sprouting up in the Iowa countryside, have taken care of that.

Gourley, who produces hogs near Webster City with his three brothers, told the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday that the increase in the cost of corn for feed has wiped out the profit in pork production.

"The competition for corn is driving up producers' feed costs," raising their total cost of production by as much as 25 percent in the past year, said Gourley, speaking on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Economists say that the higher feed costs will eventually be passed on to consumers.

Iowa is the biggest producer of ethanol and hogs.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said lawmakers will have to take into consideration the impact of higher corn prices on livestock producers.

Source: DesMoines Register.com

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