Economic concerns likely impacting herd expansion

The U.S. hog herd isn’t expanding, but a livestock economist says it isn’t contracting significantly either.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says the report, overall, is sideways.  “When you look producers’ expectations about sows farrowed, June through November, we’re also talking about that being down roughly 2%,” he says.  “So I don’t see any expansion, and a lot more sideways movement, I guess in terms of hog slaughter as we look into 2023.”

He tells Brownfield while contraction has slowed, any future expansion will likely be impacted by outside factors. “Number one is the concern about the general economy,” he says.  “Number two, feed costs stay high. I think that’s equally got producers eyeing, whether they want to undertake expansion plans.  Let alone the input costs that go on with things like concrete, etc. if I was going to expand.”

Brown says labor availability could also hinder any potential expansion moving forward.   

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