The hog market is crashing. Hog farmers are going out of business. Our hog buyer has been laid off.
According to NPPC President, Don Butler, the U.S. hog industry has lost nearly $4.5 billion since September, 2007. Producers have lost an average of $21.37 per hog. Losses per hog may be over $50 per head this fall.
We sold a load of commodity hogs August 4th. The price per 100 lbs. of hog was $43.48. Just ten days later on August 14th we sold another load and the price per 100 lbs. of hog was $37.60. That’s a difference of nearly $15 per 250 lb. hog.
Direct-marketing pork has helped us stay optimistic about raising hogs. Unfortunately, many producers are finding nothing to be optimistic about and are exiting the hog industry. How low will these markets go until reaching seasonal lows in December? I will keep you posted.
Here is a conversation I had at the hog market, recently.
I waited at the hog market with my old herdboars.
“They can’t be together,” I said to the old man waiting to unload his hogs.
“This one will tear the other one up. He already did a month ago, jumped over a gate four feet high.”
“Looks like he could do it now,” the old man said as the boar measured the gate with his snout.
“He’s a good-looking boar.”
“Thanks,” I said.
“Where’d you get him from?” the old man asked.
“I raise boars,” I said. “I use AI to bring in new genetics.”
“Oh, you use AI?”
“Yes. Where do you get your boars?” I asked.
“Ohio. Durocs one year, Yorkshires the next.”
“That’s a good cross,” I said.
The old man looked up towards the scale and asked, “Where’s Scott?”
“He’s on vacation,” I said. “But next week’s his last week.”
“What, why?” the old man asked.
“He got laid off. They’re closing down German Valley and Rory is going to drive from Lancaster to fill in here.”
“The hell you say.”