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Growth in the pork industry could be coming, soon

A representative with the pork industry says economic conditions have impacted its growth, but that may change soon.

Steve Martin with the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska says inflation continues to be an issue. “Probably about the last 8 to 9  months, prices have been tough.  To build anything new, interest rates have gone up, supplies have gone up and cost have materials have gone up.”

He says feed costs and labor are also a factor. “Our producers are doing like everyone else.  They’re getting innovative on how they do labor, what their labor pool looks like and maybe even dipping into non-traditional workers like retired people.”

Despite those challenges, Martin tells Brownfield some smaller farrow-to-finish operations are expanding. “Sometimes building in that off-cycle is when you can get better access to a builder, better access to some things that are challenging when everyone’s trying to build.”

He says consumer demand has pulled prices lower, which has deterred some producers from expanding, but now is a great time to evaluate those decisions as the outlook is improving.

Brownfield interviewed Martin at the 2023 Nebraska Pork Expo.

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