PED virus woes prompt USDA to lower pork production forecast
Although many hog producers indicated they would increase sows farrowing, PED virus losses will more than offset those gains
The USDA has lowered its forecast for U.S. pork production in 2014, largely due to the loss of piglets to porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus. In the April 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the USDA estimated that about 22.7 billion pounds of pork would be produced in 2014, backing down from its March projection of 23.4 billion pounds.
The April 2014 WASDE report also indicated that U.S. pork production in 2014 would decline from the 2013 U.S. pork production amount of 23.2 billion pounds.
According to the April 2014 WASDE report, pork producers had indicated intentions to increase sows farrowing in the period from March through August, but the loss of piglets to PED virus is expected to result in lower slaughter during the remainder of 2014. Carcass weights are forecast higher, but those gains will not be sufficient to offset the reduced slaughter numbers.