Here is a USDA ERS report that reflects the changes we see in the pork industry. Will growth now be flat? Will mega-farms that export pork be increasingly be object of unsympathetic neighbors?
U.S. Hog Production From 1992 to 2009: Technology, Restructuring, and Productivity Growth by William McBride and Nigel Key
Economic Research Report No. (ERR-158) 48 pp, October 2013
U.S. hog farm numbers dropped by 70 percent over 1991-2009 while hog inventories remained stable. The result has been an industry with larger hog enterprises, increased specialization in a single phase of production, greater reliance on purchased rather than homegrown feed, and greater us of production contracts. This structural change has led to higher productivity and lower pork prices.
If the new hog farmer down the road is a CAFO who is not welcomed by the neighbborhood, what does that imply about expansion of prok production? People in northeast Iowa are worried about water quality.