Farmers Get Piglet Virus under Control Which May Mean Lower Pork Prices - Blog - Saving Advice Articles
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Farmers Get Piglet Virus under Control Which May Mean Lower Pork Prices

By , October 11th, 2014 | 9 Comments »

Containment of a piglet virus may bring down prices
Over the last year, a virus in the pig community has run rampant killing millions of baby pigs while causing pork prices to rise considerably. Warmer weather and efforts from pork farmers to better sterilize their operations have helped to decrease the incidence of the virus itself, and it appears the worst of the crisis is over.

Greg Lear, a farmer who lost more than 800 piglets last year, told the Associated Press that farmers have improved their biosecurity management and have established health protocols over the past year. This, in combination with a little luck from Mother Nature, who brought warmer weather and sunshine, greatly helped in reducing the incidents of the virus since it doesn’t spread as much in warmer temperatures.

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus was wiping out entire litters of baby pigs, causing the federal government to give conditional approval of a vaccine while producers disinfected their equipment and clothing. While these efforts appear to have the virus managed, everyone is cautiously optimistic because as fall looms, they know the virus thrives in colder and wetter weather.

Prices for pork jumped over 11% by August as baby pigs died across the country. Even with the rising costs, the increase in price didn’t frighten off consumers, as the USDA reported only a 3% drop in the most recent quarter when compared to the same quarter last year.

With a significant decrease in the cost of feed, and the virus being maintained at a low level for the moment, US pork producers look to be able to average about $60 profit per animal. That profit is at an all time high for pork. The average profit over the last 25 years have only been $10.50 per animal.

Due to the current high profit margin, the USDA reports that producers are adding thousands more stock in an effort to cash in on the rise. These large stock increases should cause the profit in 2015 to decrease to approximately $30 per head. For consumers, the increases in stock should cause a decrease in pork prices by this winter and leading into the spring.

These price decreases are all dependent upon the virus not coming back. With winter just around the corner, and the colder weather which comes with it, a new outbreak of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus could occur. If this happens, we could see a repeat of this past year with farmers forced to kill off hundreds to thousands of their pigs in order to keep the disease from spreading. While this is a possibility, farmers are currently hopeful that the worst of the virus is over. They believe the precautions and industry education they’ve implemented over the last year should stave off another outbreak as severe as the last one.

(Photo courtesy of jennicatpink)

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  • Linda Stockdale says:

    If everyone stopped eating pork – and in fact stopped eating meat and dairy – the animals would be better off, humans would be in better health, and there would be less pollution in this world.

    • Sandra Simpson says:

      YES!!!! Linda Stockdale is SOOOOOO right!!!

    • John says:

      I agree with reducing meat consumption, but don’t fool yourselves. Reducing consumption will not make animals better off, it will simply mean fewer of them. Eliminating animal consumption completely will effectively bring about the extinction of many farm animals in existence today. Some few might keep a cow for a pet of sorts, but that is it. In the end, no farmed animals would probably be more humane. The effort really should be put into consumer awareness of how production animals are treated (abused). Every animal deserves a quality life, free from cruelty and abuse, even it the life is shortened. Such treatment apparently costs more, so consumers would have to be willing to pay more for ethically raised animals. I am willing to pay more. I eat less meat, but what I eat is at least more ethically raised – grass fed beef, un-caged chickens, etc. I am o.k. with less meat. I can’t even imagine eating a whole sirloin steak anymore.
      Education to grow public awareness works. If such campaigns can reduce smoking, it can improve the lot of the animals that feed us.

    • richard says:

      ……….sure i will quit eating meat when lab grown meat is common and tastes as good as the real thing but until then ummmmm…bacon!!!

  • Wastrel says:

    If you think prices will actually go down, you have another think coming. They know now that you will pay the current price for bacon and pork and they can justify that price by the cost of “virus control.”

  • Tina says:

    And exactly WHAT would these animals do if no longer raised for food?

    Where would they live? Is your back yard available for a couple of pigs to live out their lives, hopefully without breeding so that you have more pigs? And if without breeding, who will care for the currently intact males, always a threat regardless of the type of animal?

    Would you be willing to supply them with water and supplemental feed during this time? How about medicine, etc.?

    Pollution is more a problem of excess human population than animal husbandry.

    • Lynda Schlockdale says:

      When deer Linda quits eating tofu and veggies, she would contribute far less methane to the environment. If she started to use her gasbag for collection it could provide serious fuel this winter. Ending her mouth breathing would also decrease our oxygen being converted into carbon dioxide. It is a fact that the kind of brain activity that will spout the Stockdale diatribe consumes only 22% of oxygen, as compared to a normal brain. she’s wasting resources. I’ll take the pigs, in pieces, any day.

  • A poem written last year when this was breaking….

    *Your Bacon is Pork*
    (from my collection A Fleeting Existence available at Amazon)

    The deadly PEDv has spread
    to twenty-seven states! Even
    samples found in Virginia
    but not in the actual hog herd.

    Confirmed cases of Porcine
    Epidemic Diarrhea virus
    increased by 274 this week
    bringing the total to 4,458.

    Four to five million dead
    in the last year alone. And
    an eighty to one hundred
    percent chance of piglet death.

    The Virginia Pork Council
    is urging congress to approve
    disaster assistance funds for
    all small pork producers.

    Iowa and North Carolina
    the largest of the lot have
    bellied up as well while
    prices continue to rise.

    Kenny A. Chaffin – 3/13/2014

  • thecrud says:

    It is so cute they think because the price of pork falls grocery stores will pass it on to customers.

    Cant wait till someone comes along and crushes there business model like a grape.
    Need a disruptor desperately.


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