Organic pork producer concerned about U.S. hog concentration

An organic pork producer is concerned the intense concentration of hogs in the U.S. makes African swine fever much more of a threat.

Tom Frantzen of New Hampton in northeast Iowa says he believes states like his are extremely vulnerable to biological upsets because of high pig populations.

“Because if those were all scattered out in far less-concentrated operations, it wouldn’t be nearly as susceptible.”

He tells Brownfield that’s how the organic model is set up.

“Our programs are pretty diverse with pretty small farms spread around quite an area, and that kind of helps. So it’s not like the markets that we have, the production that is concentrated (and) in the hands of a couple farms in Iowa. In that situation, (ASF) could wipe it out really pretty fast.”

Frantzen’s organic farm is farrow-to-finish for pork.  He also has a beef cow herd, and grows all his own feed.  He says the area of his swine operation most susceptible to ASF is on the nutrition side with pre-mixed vitamins that are commonly sourced from China.

Brownfield interviewed Frantzen at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin last week.

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