Pork Commentary

Jim Long President – CEO Genesus Inc.


December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving for Swine Producers

This past year has been the most profitable for North American hog producers ever. As Thanksgiving was celebrated this past week, it gave us time to ponder and to be thankful for the way the year has played out. Record high hog prices and feed prices that decreased significantly. Even the scourge of PEDV lead to greater profitability as shorter supplies super charged lean hog prices. There have been Thanksgivings that we remember when the hog industry was not so pleasant – 1998 comes to mind. $8.00 market hogs!! There were many other years, but we do our best to remember but not dwell on them. We sell genetics and for a couple of years when corn – soybean prices were high, we had many customers wonder why they should stay in hogs – running operations 24/7 and borrowing or eating equity to make payroll. Many looked at crop farms and envied the appreciation of land and crop value without the 365 day to day pressure of managing swine farms and losing money. It sure seemed easier and better to grow crops. To paraphrase an industry person we know ‘The easy play never works out in the long run.’ We always believed this and to a certain extent the pool of excellent crop farmers compared to excellent hog farmers was way deeper. That is because it’s easier to raise crops relative to swine production. In 2014 it worked out for hog producers and the profits have been excellent. We have much to be thankful for. We also must recognize the resourcefulness, dedication, and stubbornness of producers that hung in through the negative margins and believed in the swine industry. We are the survivors. If ever we were in a platoon of soldiers, we would want it to be made up of pig producers, resourcefulness, dedication, and the never die attitude are great qualities for survival. To win you must survive. At the beginning of 2014 we called it the year of the pig farmer, as we believed profits were going to be extraordinary. Thankfully it has been, and every producer who hung in over the last few years has been rewarded.

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This post was written by Genesus