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When feed costs and hog prices go up, consider higher weights

When feed costs and hog prices go up, consider higher weights

Pigs feeding

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When feed prices go up, swine producers usually see profits go down. That’s not the case in 2021.

This gives producers an opportunity to look at feeding to heavier weights despite higher feed costs, says University of Missouri Extension swine nutritionist Marcia Shannon.

Higher market weights result in dramatic net gains per pig under current grain and market conditions, she says. This comes despite higher feed inefficiencies.

Today’s average pig market weights exceed 280 pounds. Driven by packer demand, pig market weights continue to rise.

Some producers sell pigs at lower weights when feed costs rise, but today’s high market prices call for higher market weights even with rising feed prices, says Shannon.

“Pork producers still can afford to feed $6 per bushel corn to heavier finish weights and make a net profit from feeding,” she says.

As conditions change, producers might want to set a price signal on feed costs and market prices to know when to begin selling based on their own operations.

In any market, Shannon recommends that producers fine-tune diets and focus on proper feed adjustments, feeder maintenance, grinding efficiency, diet formulations and feed quality.

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