Ethanol a Major Topic at World Pork Expo

by 5m Editor
9 June 2008, at 11:46am

IOWA - Ethanol production, being related to rising feed costs, dominated a large part of the discussion at last week's World Pork Expo in Des Moines. However, pork producers understand that there are several other factors that affect their input costs.

“This is not specifically an ethanol problem,“ said National Pork Producers Council president Bryan Black. “The world demand for grain, the total energy price crisis and shortages of grain across the world have led to this situation and we are not pointing the finger at any one particular one.“

According to Domestic Fuel, the NPPC has created a brand new task force to look at new feed alternatives to help them deal with the rising cost of corn and soybean meal, which have been the primary source of feed for hogs.

During a speech to pork producers at the expo, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner admitted that ethanol is a factor in the higher prices. “Ethanol is a new demand factor in the corn market, to the tune of about a third of our production going forward,“ Conner said. “Fortunately, we did produce 13 billion bushels of corn and so despite large quantities going to ethanol, we actually did feed more corn to livestock than in previous years, so we managed to grow that market for both feed and ethanol.“

Conner said that USDA is also opening up some Conservation Reserve Program acreage to haying and grazing, which is primarily a direct benefit for cattle producers but it indirectly benefits hog farmers by increasing the amount of feed available to the livestock industry.

View the Domestic Fuel story by clicking here.

5m Editor