Feed prices hurt integrators

Record high feed prices have not been kind to American meat integrators, but some have done better than others.

Focusing on the bottom line, Smithfield Foods squeezed out net income of $4.2 million for its second quarter in fiscal 2008, down from $17.4 million the year before. Hog production losses continued due to high feed costs.

Since announcing a breeding stock kill-down in February, the company has liquidated seven per cent of its U.S. sow herd, with more stock scheduled for culling. Corn costs were cited as being 65 per cent higher than the year before, and cash costs of raising pigs was $63 per hundredweight, compared to $49. However, live hog market prices were $53 per hundredweight, compared to $46 in the same quarter last year.  

Better Farming - February 2009