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Hog Producers Could Break Even in 2009

by 5m Editor
6 February 2009, at 8:21am

US - A prominent livestock economist expects at least some short term improvement for pork producers this summer despite the fact that most of them continue to see a lot of red ink.

According to American agricultural news source, Brownfield, Iowa State University Extension Economist John Lawrence says hog producers could break even in 2009, "[producers are] still in the red ink now...it looks like the summer will be profitable, but unfortunately back to break even or lower in the fall."

So what can a producer do to keep the losses from cutting too deep? Aside from trying to protect their profit margins, Prof. Lawrence says one big thing producers can do is have "at least" a 60 day supply of feed on hand, "While I don't think we'll repeat last summer's $7 corn, I wouldn't be surprised to see some volatility in that market. I'd like to have a supply I control, that I can go to when the prices are quite high."

Prof. Lawrence adds that another key factor will be export demand and the performance of the dollar against the currencies of our big pork importers.