World meat production will decline for the first time in two decades because of the devastating epidemic of African swine fever in China, the world’s largest pork producer, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Thursday.
As a young man, Johnny Carroll Sain dreamed of owning an industrial hog farm like his uncle. Eventually, he did, raising hogs for Cargill on 55 acres in northern Arkansas. He's out of the business now, and in FERN's latest piece, published with Arkansas Life, he explores how industrial meat production has damaged the environment, the economy, and the social cohesion in his rural community. (No paywall)
U.S. red meat and poultry production will climb by 2.3 billion pounds in 2019 from this year’s level, says the first USDA forecasts of meat production for the coming year. Pork output will be up by nearly 3 percent, to 28 billion pounds.
The $50-million verdict last week against North Carolina hog producer Murphy-Brown is being hailed as a potential game-changer in the growing grassroots opposition to industrial farming operations around the country. No paywall
The U.S. hog inventory is up 3 percent from a year ago, according to a quarterly report by USDA. Beef and poultry production are also expanding, leading USDA to forecast a nearly 4-percent increase in the meat supply this year. The increase is so large that per capita meat consumption is expected to increase by 5.6 pounds, to 222.4 pounds per person.
A coalition of 55 environmental, agricultural, and food-safety organizations signed a letter urging the Iowa General Assembly pass a moratorium on new and expanded factory farm development in the state. Iowa currently houses nearly 23 million hogs, a record for the state and the highest number in the country.
The U.S. hog inventory is 2 percent larger than a year ago, an indicator that pork supplies will expand in the year ahead, according to USDA's quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. "Consumers want pork. America's pig farmers are delivering with excellent production performance," says National Hog Farmer, a trade publication, which cites an analysis that the low unemployment rate will mean higher earnings for American in 2018 and drive up meat prices.
Hog farmers are sending more hogs to market this year, which ordinarily would pull down pork prices in the supermarket. That's not the case this year, according to USDA economists, because consumer demand for bacon is bolstering pork prices overall.
Fourteen of the top 25 restaurant chains in the United States are telling farmers to restrict the routine use of antibiotics in chickens, compared with nine a year ago, according to the annual Chain Reaction report. “While restaurant chains made great progress on chicken, the groups found that there were no new commitments to limit antibiotic use in beef and pork.”