"Drought-Hit Hog Producers Face Tough Choice: Struggle Or Fold"

"With the worst drought in half a century driving feed prices sky high, pork producers are facing an untenable choice: drain their savings and gamble on a better future, or sell off their herd and get out of the business altogether."

"A disappointing corn harvest has forced the slaughter of sows - adult female hogs that are the building blocks of a herd - at record rates, swelling pork supplies and sending prices plunging.

As a result, consumers could be treated to cheap pork this fall but would have to dig deeper into their wallets next year as prices rise for products from bacon to pork chops to hams.

A clearer picture of how severely the drought impacted hog producers is expected to emerge on Friday, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its quarterly report on the number of hogs and pigs on farms as of September 1."

P.J. Huffstutter and Theopolis Waters report for Reuters September 28, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"Nation's Drought Has Spread, Report Shows" (AP)

"Drought Reduces Some Tributaries To a Trickle" (Jamestown Sun)
 

Source: Reuters, 09/28/2012