Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A shortage down on the farm could lead to a price spike for a popular breakfast-time staple.
This summer’s record drought has hurt many crops like corn. And pigs eat corn, making them more expensive to raise.
In order to cut costs, farmers are down-sizing their herds now, meaning bringing home bacon could cost more next year.
It’s hard to miss Greg Strobel’s trucks in the small town of Pemberton, Minn. Strobel’s been in the hog farming business for more than 30 years. Minnesota is the third-highest hog producing state in the country.
“Most of our hogs go to Tyson foods,” Strobel said. “We’ve got … the worst drought in 50 years and it made things just that much worse.”
The drought significantly affected the cost of corn, and when the cost of feed goes up, so does the cost of raising a hog.
The Strobels say the cost of corn has tripled in the last five years, and the drought worsened an already tight supply.
Farmers have been sending more hogs to slaughter now, in order to cut some of those costs. It’s the oversupply of hogs that’s helping to keep prices consistent, but only for now.
While it’s just a guess at this point, Strobel suspects that supply cutback could come next summer, and that would result in almost a 15 percent increase in the price of pork.
While it may mean less bacon, Strobel says it’s all part of the business.