Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, expects hog supplies to decrease by 4-5 percent during the Tyson Foods fiscal year 2014. However, Smith looks for higher hog weights to partially offset the smaller hog numbers for an anticipated 4 percent decline in pork production in 2014.

Losses from porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus are the main reason for the expected decrease in hog production. Speaking May 5 during an earnings call with shareholders, Smith said hog supplies will likely be further reduced in June through August, but the situation should ease by October.

Smith did not speculate too much further about pig production in the future, as PED virus, which can have as much as a 100 percent mortality rate in piglets and has no reliable cure, continues to spread through the United States and Canada.

“You’d like to think with cheaper grain prices that you’d start to see some herd expansion, but it’s difficult to see what the impact of that would be in light of PED. We continue to see a good number of accessions each week,” Smith said. “Supplies should be up next year, but a little too early to tell yet.”