Ronald L. Plain University of Missouri

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Structure of U.S. Pork Industry

Publish Date: 04/04/2012

The structure of the pork industry changed dramatically during the 1990s and promises to continue to change in the years ahead. By structural change, we refer to the number and size of operations, who owns them, and how they relate to other firms in the pork chain. Change provides both challenges and opportunities to those individuals who make their living from the industry. Trying to cope with rapid change can quickly become a test of survival. Most of the data for this fact sheet come from USDA publications and industry surveys conducted by the University of Missouri and Iowa State University.


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Factsheets

Marketing slaughter hogs: Where, When & How

Publish Date: 08/23/2006

Choosing a market is one of the most important decisions a pork producer makes before selling hogs. Market selection has a big impact on a producers net sale price. Prices, as well as marketing costs such as shrink, transportation, and commissions, vary among markets. Consequently, hog producers must be aware of alternative markets available in order to choose one which yields the greatest net return.


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Factsheets

How and Where is Price Established?

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

The question How and Where is Hog Price Established? is a seemingly simple one. The pricing mechanism for hogs, however, is complex. Prices for hogs, as for other commodities traded in competitive markets, result from the interaction of supply and demand. But a long list of factors affects supply and another long list affects demand. In addition, the precise state of each of the factors and the exact influence on supply and demand are often not fully known at any given time.


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Factsheets

Marketing Slaughter Hogs Under Contract

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

In the past decade there has been a rapid movement by U.S. hog producers and packers away from selling and buying hogs on the spot market. The decline in spot market sales has been offset by a steady increase in both contractual agreements between producers and packers and in packers raising hogs for slaughter. There are a number of reasons why producers have switched to contracts from spot market sales. First, it simplifies life. It is far easier, especially for larger hog operations, to negotiate a multi-year packer contract than to negotiate the price of every load of hogs. It is easier to arrange and budget transportation when all the hogs go to the same plant. A marketing contract assures shackle space. Perhaps most important, marketing contracts can offer a higher and more stable net price than the spot market.


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Factsheets

Marketing cull sows

Publish Date: 08/23/2006

Some of the common questions pork producers ask are, What do I do with my cull sows? Should I move them to market as soon as possible or should I feed them for a few weeks? And if I do feed, how many weeks is best? The answer is the same as for most marketing questionsIt depends! In this case, there are four factors that should be considered before making a decision about when to market sows: the condition of the sow, expected changes in sow prices, price of feed, and ease of handling.


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