cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Veteran Advisor

Anyone there?

While I quit the hog business a couple years ago, I still enjoyed reading posts from other hog farmers, just to see what was going on.  Where did everybody go?  I know that around here 10 years ago about 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 farms had at least some hogs on them, and now I only know of one guy who planned to keep going, and he could have quit.  I think it is a sad day in agriculture when the small independant hog feeder-farmers are gone.  For me personally, it wasn't that I couldn't raise hogs at a price competetive with the big guys.  Heck, with my facilities all paid for, and depreciated out, and feeding my own corn, and having just enough hogs so I could take care of them myself (no hired labor) I think I was probably at the bottom end of production costs.  No, what killed me was the lack of markets for the hogs.  When you are down to two places to take pigs within the distance you are willing to drive, and one of them closing shop, what else can you do?  It seems the packers only wanted captive supply hogs, and didn't bid very well for the odd load of pigs here and there.  While I can't see why my pigs are worth $10 per hundred less than their own hogs, I guess that is the way things go.  The funny thing is that the hogs I had butchered for my own use tasted better than most anything you could get in the store, and many neighbors who bought the odd hog from me agreed.  I guess the hog industry is going the way of the chickens, where everyone fits in the same little box.  I hope there are still a few independtant guys holding on, as I think niche markets are there, if you can find them.   Good luck to all still in the hog business, and take this drop in corn prices as a chance to lock in your needs.  I can't speak for the whole country, but at least locally, 90% of the corn is already sold.  If we have a late harvest, all the signs point to at least spot shortages of corn.

0 Kudos
12 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone there?

Some hogs farmers are still here. They don't go to this forum much. There are other avenues of info that focus on each type of farming. Too much animosity here for both to start talking hogs.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Anyone there?

Thanks for the reply.  I was an on again off again lurker for quite a while, and now that I decided to frequent here more, I miss reading about the hog business.  Not that I want to get back into them, but just for nostalgas sake.

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone there?

Unfortunately,  there ar so few of us left.   I'll be exitiing by Thanksgiving.   I farrowed my last sow on April 20th.    We had 200 sows farrow to finish.    We were the last commercial farrowing operation in our county.   Now the only farrowing in our county is done on show pig farms.    We are exiting because:   lack  of employees,   our age,  older buildings,  tired of fighting new rules and regulations,  and feeling insignificant in the industry.   And the classic  reason of:  it is easier to load corn than hogs.   We only live 10 miles from a packing plant  and I deliver them there 29 at a time in a  single axle truck.   I don't seem to have any problem  having my hogs accepted.    They needed mine  because they  need a certain percentage of their sows not in gestation crates and we don't use paylean. 

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone there?

Have no plans to leave yet. Neither have I had any problems getting hogs into the plant with similar facilities and management. That feeling of insignificant in the industry is pretty demoralizing so I think of what I CAN control instead of what I can't now. Diversifying our markets and income sources helps to prepare for the unexpected. Grain is easier to load than hogs, and the last 5 years has given the crop producer a larger profit than a hog producer. What comes in the next 5 or ten could be 180 degrees of what we have now or more of the same. I wish you the best for your future retirement from hogs.

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone there?

You might be better off, nostalgia wise, to get video or prints from Nebraska Historical Society depicting hog production. If you want up to date info, there is plenty of youtube videos about swine production out there.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Anyone there?

I don't blame producers from wanting to leave the hog industry. The hog industry is one of the biggest dog and pony shows out there. I work part time on a 1,500 head farrow to wean operation, so I keep updated on the swine industry. At one point in time I wanted to farm hogs but it seems to be a business with little "in's". Banks don't want to invest in hog buildings that will depreciate quickly and the regulations are getting tougher. I don't think the hog farmer is the only one becoming extinct these days. I drive through the country and see very few farms with livestock these days. High grain prices keep farmers with land raising crops and not feeding $7 corn to the hogs. If world, livestock, and ethanol demand slows in the next 10 years we may see a 180 in the hog industry. In all reality the big guys in the hog industry may not like $7 corn but it is creating a monopoly for them.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Anyone there?

As the former Secretary of the Central Nebraska Pork Producers Association, I still get the occasional NPPC newsletter, just often enough to keep me up to date on a lot of things.  By reading this, I can see the direction the hog industry is going, with their continual referral to tighter regulations, assuming you have in in-house Vet, and everything available bilingual.

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone there?

Don't you have a member from St. Paul that is a state officer for NPPA? So many changes and transitions in the past 10-15 years.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Anyone there?

I think you might be right.  St Paul is East of our area, the Eastern border for the Central Nebraska Pork Producers Association is between Ord & St. Paul.  I haven't been keeping up with things much since I quit the hogs, and am not sure who the officers are within our own area anymore.

0 Kudos