The pork industry can’t win. Producers have faced years of losses – the most prolonged period of unprofitability in history. Prices were finally turning around when swine flu hit the news. World authorities eventually agreed to call the virus H1N1, but now a hog operation in Alberta has pigs with the flu. Despite all the assurances that the flu is not a food safety issue and that pork is safe to consume, some countries are erecting trade barriers. China has banned Alberta pork. Consumers are no doubt confused with the massive media attention that H1N1 is receiving. Rather than a much needed summer price rally, hog prices have slipping back into negative territory. We’ve lost a lot of producers and a big chunk of the breeding stock over the past few years. H1N1 could cause further casualties. Even the biggest and best producers can’t withstand losses indefinitely. Lending institutions eventually lose their patience. Here’s hoping H1N1 quickly fades from worldwide headlines. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC