Increased Feed Costs Expected to Result in Marketing of Lighter Weight Hogs

CANADA - The CEO of the Manitoba Pork Marketing Cooperative predicts escalating feed costs, brought on by a heightened demand for corn for ethanol production, will result in lower marketing weights, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 25 May 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

A combination of factors is expected to influence feedgrain prices in the coming year including acres seeded to grains, especially U.S. corn, the quality of the crop, any export sales that may be made, demand for ethanol and the price oil.

Manitoba Pork Marketing Cooperative CEO Perry Mohr predicts, with the number of ethanol plants that are projected to be built in the United States, there's only going to be a greater demand on corn on a go forward basis, leaving hog producers few options.

Perry Mohr-Manitoba Pork Marketing Cooperative

I think the only thing that they can really do and, again, corn isn't a big part of our ration here.

Barley is and the barley hasn't risen but feedgrain prices have risen in general.

The only thing that you can actually do as a producer is probably to cut back on the weight in which you market the hog.

There's a certain price at which it costs more to feed that hog based on the price of the feedgrains than you will get back in return for that hog based on feed conversions and a number of other factors so you'll likely see weights come down here on hogs.

The other thing that you may see is that, if it's unprofitable, is that producers may decide to discontinue producing pork completely.

There will be some of that that'll happen as well.

Mohr notes producers in the United States producers are looking at seeding more corn in recognition of the opportunity to capitalize on that lucrative market which will hopefully ease some of the upward price pressure.

However, he admits, the strengthening Canadian dollar doesn't give him a warm fuzzy feeling.

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