Indiana agriculture experts say the drought could cause a decrease in the number of hog farms in the state as soon as next year.
Indiana Farm Bureau spokesman Andy Dietrick says supplies of ham and bacon are abundant right now since the heat forced many hog farmers to send the pigs to slaughter. But if the demand stays steady, and the supply is low, the price could go up in a year’s time.
“Right now it’s the hog farmers who are gonna be losing the most, not just their herds, but there will probably be some farmers who go out of business,” Dietrick says. “You can’t lose $45 to $60 per head going the market and do that for very long than stay viable, so there gonna be some farmers who just liquidity and completely get out.”
Nikai Royer owns Royer Farm Fresh Beef Lamb & Pork in the Vigo County town of Clinton and says the business sells hogs directly to customers, but the rising cost of grain is her chief concern.
“We are working at some plans. It’s a challenge,” Royer says. “It’s a challenge.”
Dietricks says economists are forecasting a 5 percent to 7 percent pork price increase in the supermarket next year. Dietrick says there will be grains available, but if the largest hog producers cannot find the feed they need in the U.S., they will have to pay more for it on the global market.