There’s yet another reason why Iowans should The poor farm economy has claimed thousands of family hog farms this year, according to an industry analyst. Ron Plain is professor of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri at Columbia and he was keynote speaker at Tuesday’s annual North Iowa Pork Industry Day event in Mason City.Professor Plain says there were 114-thousand hog farms in the U-S last year, a number that’s expected to fall to around 100-thousand by the end of this year — a ten percent drop. While there are fewer small farms, he says the economic picture will be brighter for the pork industry as a whole next year. He says demand will be higher & supplies will be kept low.Plain expects the price of live hogs next year to average around 40-cents a pound — which could bring profits due to the low cost of feed.
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