Will Future Pricing Systems Include Quality?

Pork Quality is becoming increasingly important as producers and packers alike are interested in those attributes that affect the processing and eating quality of their products. For years, producers have put emphasis on reproduction, performance, and carcass composition and the returns are obvious. While our sow herd keeps decreasing in numbers, our nations market hog production keeps increasing over time demonstrating some real improvement in reproductive efficiency. Likewise, growth rates and feed efficiencies have improved significantly as well. During the past decade, we have seen a real resurgence of emphasis on carcass composition. Market hogs are now generally very lean meeting consumer demands for low fat, lean products. Partially because of that intense selection and partly because of a real consumer desire for excellent eating experiences, there is more interest on pork quality today.