200-plus Voice Concerns at Minnesota Meeting

by 5m Editor
16 April 2008, at 8:21am

US - More than 200 farmers attended an industry meeting held in Mankato yesterday. Organised by producer Mitch Truebenbach, the financial hardship being caused by escalating grain prices was top of the agenda

Most Mid-West pig producers have been losing money on every animal sold since last fall - and it's mainly due to the high cost of feed. In the hours before the meeting kicked off, corn prices went up another 15 cents a bushel in Minnesota and prices said they could not cope with the increases. Cereal prices are rocketing and so pushing up the cost of feed. As a result, pork producers are losing as much as $30 per hog.

"These prices are the highest in living memory. Its good for the grain growers, but it will devastate our pig businesses."
Minnesota Pig Producer

"These prices are the highest in living memory," said one Minnesota farmer. "Its good for the grain growers but it will devastate our pig businesses," he added.

Several speakers at the meeting called on the federal government to change its ethanol policies as they felt this was adding fuel to the fire. They want to see more balance in the corn trade and making ethanol production less attractive to growers may help bring down the prices and save the hog industry.

The meeting was held at the Mankato Holiday Inn and attracted farmers and representatives from the supply trade from across Minnesota and neighbouring states.

Topics discussed included possible herd reduction policies, the effect of reducing slaughter weights on prices/costs, disease implications and the impact a collapse in the swine industry would have on rural trading, unemployment and the national economy. Country of origin (COOL)and food safety issues were also debated.

5m Editor