Corn Consumption Increasing Among Pork Producers
As pork producers attempt to mitigate issues caused by the backlog in livestock it is increasing their per animal corn usage. That was one of the items shared during the Secretary of Agriculture Livestock Teleconference Tuesday morning.
Iowa Pork Producers Association CEO Pat McGonegle said that many of the rations for pork production look a lot like the 1950s as producers look to slow down the growth of their animals. This is increasing the average corn intake by two to three bushels per animal. Also, some depopulation is taking place, but it is not on a large scale and not like what is happening in Minnesota.
Pork processing plants have increased production to 89 percent of slaughter at this time last year. Last week it was closer to 65 percent. It is a major improvement, but the glut of hogs continues to increase. Cattle processing also made gains and is now operating at roughly 75 percent capacity, which is better than the 65 percent last week. Also, of some help will be the expected Cooperative Interstate Agreement where participating smaller state inspected packing facilities will be able to ship meat across state lines.
Some relief appears to be on the way for a portion of Iowa’s farmers from the USDA, but Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said he is pushing for help to all sectors, most notably eggs and ethanol, and would like to see a combination of direct payments to farmers and an indemnity for animals lost due to the market disruption from the coronavirus.
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa is an invited member of the Livestock call and association staff take part in the call each week. Both AAI staff and AAI members also take part in the Agriculture Secretary’s Crop Production Call each Thursday. Updates from the Crop Production Call are provided in the Take Five.