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Market Dominates, But Planning Also Key Issue at Iowa Congress

by 5m Editor
24 January 2008, at 11:03am

US - At the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines this week, producers were asked about the most important issue facing them. The answer depended on who was asked, says Peter Shinn.

Reporting for America's agricultural news service Brownfield, he felt that most people were primarily concerned about high input costs and weak hog prices.

"Lower hog markets are one thing, but we're definitely in a new era on input costs and where feed grain prices are and so forth," said newly elected President of Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Dave Moody. "That's definitely going to be a challenge for us."

However, not all producers cited the current market conditions as the most critical issue facing the pork industry. Outgoing IPPA President Scott Tapper said that maintaining state control of where new livestock operations were placed is the most important issue facing Iowa pork producers.

"When you talk to the Board of Supervisors in a lot of these counties, they don't want to have to hire staff, and they really don't want local control. It's just a few fanatics out there calling for it," he said.

The public's perception of pork, animal welfare, identification and traceability and health and biosecurity were also hot topics. What is clear is the industry faces some tough challenges and continued high feed costs will make meeting them more difficult

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5m Editor