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Swine Industry - Challenges and Hope Ahead

Swine Industry - Challenges and Hope Ahead

The swine industry faces both obstacles and growth opportunities as Porktober approaches, October's National Pork Month. Despite optimism about increased demand, industry insiders are exploring ways to expand their markets, including entering countries that haven't previously imported pork from the US.

One prominent issue on the radar is Proposition 12, a California law that regulates how hogs and other animals are housed. This particular matter has caused division among producers. Some have chosen to renovate their facilities to comply with the law, while others are seeking alternative markets for their products. It's important to note that only pork raised in facilities meeting Proposition 12 regulations can be sold in California.

The big question for producers who decide to comply with Proposition 12 is whether they will see a premium for their products compared to the general market. Those making renovations are making a significant investment, and they're hoping to recoup their costs through higher pork prices.

California consumes about 15% of pork produced in the United States but only produces approximately 4%. This means the state must import about 11% of its pork, which raises concerns about food security.

There's also uncertainty about how California authorities plan to enforce Proposition 12 regulations in other states. The verification process is still being worked out. Retailers will play a key role in assessing product compliance.

While producers in the Midwest need to make decisions regarding Proposition 12, consumers in their region should not see significant increases in pork prices. Consumers in California may face higher prices for pork products.

Wholestone Farms' pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, originally set to open in 2025, has been put on hold due to a partnership with Iowa-based company Prestage. The empty site remains, but there is hope for its return in the future.

Despite the challenges, Wholestone Farms' pork production plant in Fremont, Nebraska, is receiving support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has awarded a $25 million grant through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) to fund an expansion of the Fremont plant.


Photo Credit: gettyimages-seastock

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Categories: South Dakota, Livestock, Hogs

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