Farm Management Tour: July 17, 2024

Learn about innovative farm management strategies, new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity, ways to ensure a successful transition of farm operations to the next generation. Join us at the 91st annual Purdue Farm Management Tour and reception honoring the 2024 Indiana Master Farmers in Randolph County (Winchester), Indiana on Wednesday, July 17th.

May 12, 2019

How Hog Diseases Impact Supply, Demand and Profit

by Chris Hurt

Hog prices and profits are way up right now. One of the primary reasons is a terrible disease known as African swine fever, which has been boosting prices since April. Thus, currently a hog disease is having a positive impact on pork producer incomes.

While our first reaction is that hog diseases are always bad for the pork industry, we need to understand how a disease will affect either supply or demand. Further, we need to identify where the disease might impact supply or demand, as well as if we’re looking at the income impacts on individual producers or the U.S. pork industry.

In this current case, ASF is reducing pork production outside the U.S., particularly in China. A reduction of supply in China is likely to result in greater pork exports from the U.S. Thus, ASF in China is increasing demand for U.S. pork and providing higher prices. All U.S. producers are sharing in the benefits of higher prices due to the disease, and the entire U.S. production industry is benefiting.

However, the impacts could change if ASF should break out in the U.S., as some fear and as USDA and other agencies are working hard to avoid. The initial question is whether an outbreak in the U.S. would cause pork consumers to reduce demand. A very important aspect of an outbreak would be to assure consumers that ASF is a hog disease that has no impact on human health. Maintaining consumer confidence in our product is vital to maintaining producer incomes.

If consumer demand is little impacted from a U.S. outbreak, then the primary impact would be from the reduction in production as hogs would need to be destroyed to control the spread. The magnitude of this lost supply is apparently large in China, but could be considerably smaller in the U.S.

Previous example

Carcass price per hunderweight by year

Carcass price per hundredweight by year

An example is the 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhea outbreak in the U.S. that resulted in a reduction of about 8% of production. Due to reduced supply, carcass prices set a high above $100. PED was a hog disease that had no implications for human health. The industry was able to get that scientific message out, and there was no serious erosion of public confidence in U.S pork.

If ASF should come to the U.S., and assuming consumers do not reduce pork demand, then the reduction in supply from measures to control the disease would boost pork prices even more. This again would be a positive economic outcome for the industry. But those producers directly affected by the disease could have near catastrophic losses, depending on potential government compensation.

The most recent examples of hog diseases — PED in 2014 and ASF today — have had a positive impact on U.S. hog prices and producers’ incomes. In fact, both can be regarded as an unexpected economic windfall for the industry. However, in the case of PED, some producers who had the disease on their farms had severe negative impacts.

ASF in China has had a major positive impact on incomes, with U.S. carcass prices expected to average near $76 this year. The story of ASF is still being written, so continue to expect volatility and potential changes to the outlook.




Prospects for Swine Feed Costs in 2024

November 30, 2023

Indiana corn prices have dropped sharply since September. The most recent WASDE report indicates that corn prices could remain low for the foreseeable future. Obviously, lower expected corn prices will translate into lower expected feed costs during the first part of 2024. What trends in feed costs will we see for 2024? And what’s the impact of corn and soybean meal prices on feed costs for farrow-to-finish and swine finishing operations?


Impact of Lower Corn Prices on Swine Feed Costs

May 22, 2023

Indiana corn prices during the first quarter of this year were on average approximately $6.60 per bushel. The most recent WASDE report indicates that corn prices could be substantially lower for the upcoming crop.


Prospects for Swine Feed Costs in 2023

November 1, 2022

Corn prices are 25% higher and soybean meal prices are 1% higher. Given that many of the supply and demand factors impacting the 2022 crop are going to persist way into 2023, what are the prospects for feed costs for farrow-to-finish and swine finishing production in the upcoming year?



Purdue Farm Management Tour & Indiana Master Farmer Reception 2024

Two outstanding farms in east-central Indiana will host visitors wanting to learn about farm and crop management on July 17th for the Purdue University Farm Management Tour. The Indiana Master Farmer reception and panel discussion will follow.

Read More

2024 Crop Cost and Return Guide

November 22, 2023

The Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide offers farmers a resource to project financials for the coming cropping year. These are the March 2024 crop budget estimations for 2024.


(Part 2) Indiana Farmland Cash Rental Rates 2023 Update

August 7, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss cash rental rates for Indiana farmland in this, the second of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results.


(Part 1) Indiana Farmland Values 2023 Update

August 6, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss Indiana farmland values on this, the first of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results. Each June, the department of agricultural economics surveys knowledgeable professionals regarding Indiana’s farmland and cash rental market.