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Livestock economist says herd size in the next QHP will be key to understanding margins

A livestock economist says he’s watching herd size in this month’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA.

Glynn Tonsor with Kansas State University says profitability is a factor. “How pessimistic is that making the supply decisions right? Our interest in keeping sows around and how many future weened pigs we’re going to have and so forth is the key part.”

He tells Brownfield pork producers are facing regulatory uncertainty, which could impact herd expansion. “The uncertainty about kind of the freedom to operate and what that looks like is embedded in that decision. The current profit squeeze is sending a signal to shrink production for many that’s likely to be confirmed and maybe not just the next quarterly report but the next few.”

Tonsor says he also expects the report to show contraction in the sow herd due to lower prices.

The next report comes out on September 28 at 3pm ET/2pm CT.

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