Iowa State University Extension economist Lee Schulz says the number of hogs and pigs that were euthanized because of COVID-19-related processing slowdowns appears to be much lower than originally anticipated. “We have to credit the producers and the entire supply chain of acting very quickly in slowing down hogs and adjusting diets, etc.,” he says. “All of those management practices really helped the industry to deal with this situation.”
And, he tells Brownfield, he doesn’t anticipate in major disruptions down the road. “What we did was we pushed those hogs into those lighter-weight categories because we slowed down the growth of those hogs,” he says. “I think that should help to spread out some of that production.”
Schulz says the March-May pig crop was above year-ago levels, which potentially adds more pork into the production system by the first quarter of 2021.