pork

An epidemic of African Swine Fever is sweeping through China's hog farms, and the effects are rippling across the globe, because China is a superpower of pork. Half of the world's pigs live in China — or at least they did before the epidemic began a year ago.

"Every day, we hear of more outbreaks," says Christine McCracken, a senior analyst at RaboResearch, which is affiliated with the global financial firm Rabobank.

A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact from an ongoing trade war.

As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26 percent of the $300 million the USDA has allocated to pork so far — more than any other company, according to an analysis of bid awards by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

After a year that saw persistently low prices for many agricultural products — exacerbated by the retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. goods — farmers are eager for a recovery in 2019.

Pork producers have been working within the trade-war parameters since China imposed a hefty tariff in April. Northeast Iowa pig farmer Al Wulfkuhle said the sudden drop in Chinese demand for U.S. pork turned what had started as a promising year into a challenging one.

Updated April 4 to clarify the export percentage — China matters to the U.S. pork industry, as more than a quarter of all hogs raised here are shipped there. So, China’s decision to up its tariffs on 128 U.S. products, pork included, worried producers and rippled through the stock market.

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MANHATTAN – U.S. pork producers are transitioning from using individual gestation crates to instead housing gilts and sows in groups, but it poses challenges, including the ability to monitor feed consumption. To remedy that, producers increasingly have started using electronic sow feeding (ESF) at their farms.

50states.com

Rural Colorado is most at risk in Trump trade war with Mexico.

As The Denver Post reports, if the Trump Administration imposes a 20 percent levy on Mexican imports to help pay for a border wall, a move that could cause Mexico to retaliate, it would put Colorado’s ranchers, manufacturers and natural gas producers at risk.

Aphis

The last few decades have witnessed an unprecedented explosion of wild pigs in the continental U.S. Over the last 30 years, feral swine populations have ballooned to spread across 39 states.

As AgWeb reports, it’s now estimated that there are as many as 11 million pigs living wild in America. And these animals just seem to keep proliferating, no matter what ag operations try. USDA pig expert Jack Mayer says setting pigs loose on virgin land is akin to pouring water on gremlins.

Pork Producers to Label Pigs Fed Muscle Drug

Aug 19, 2015
Will Kincaid / AP

Soon High Plains shoppers will see a new phrase when shopping for pork, reports Prairie Public News. The phrase, which may be confusing to most, is: "Produced without the use of ractopamine."  While ractopamine may not have much name recognition, it’s a huge deal in the pork industry.  Most pigs in America are given the drug, which is similar to adrenaline. The pigs put on more muscle, and the drug can add two to three dollars of income per pig.

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Family farmer and agriculture advocate Katie Sawyer recently came across an article in Time magazine that questioned the safety of eating pork. While Sawyer admitted that the article’s author got it “half right,” she took to Kansas AgLand to set the record straight.

Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Bacon-loving shoppers prepare yourselves: A virus that has devastated piglets for nearly a year is causing lower pork supplies and higher prices.