October 23, 2014
PEDv's impact on US pork production mild--USMEF
Fears that the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv), which has hit 31 states, would have a huge impact on the US pork sector were not so well founded, after all.
Thanks to the increased slaughter weights, pork production went down by just around 3% to 4%, according to John Brooks of the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), who spoke at the SIAL trade show in Paris this week.
Because of the reduced cost of feed, Brooks said "there was an increase in weight of about 4%, so without that, volumes would have fallen by around 8%".
PEDv—which destroys the lining of the piglet's gut, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration, as well as vomiting—first struck the US swine herd in April last year and killed some 8 million piglets since then.
But the US Department of Agriculture's latest quarterly report on hogs and pigs released in end-September said the US inventory showed an increase of 6% as of Sept. 1 to 65.4 million head, compared with the June 1 figure. The current hog count, though, was down 2% from September 1, 2013.
US No. 1 producer Iowa's inventory as of September 1 also jumped, by 8%, from June to 20.7 million head, the third-highest inventory on record. The 1.60 million head increase from June was the largest quarterly increase since 1997. Compared to Sept. 1, 2013, the inventory was, however, down by 1%.
It was reported that PEDv apparently waned during the warm months and farmers made efforts to sterilize their operations.
Hog raisers, though, fear it could resurface when winter comes as the virus seems to thrive in colder and wetter conditions.