The ripple effect from the worst drought in decades is moving throughout the farming industry. Mike Platt, with Indiana Pork, says Hoosier pork producers are in liquidation mode, “Sow liquidation is taking place in many places in the state.” He said that as producers make plans for the next 6 months they are reducing their breeding herds and cutting production, “There are so many sows coming to market in some areas there is a backup at the processing plant.” He said the high price of feed and short corn crop are forcing some families to make some hard decisions, “They are are considering if they want to get out of this part of the business.” With the large number of sows coming to market, the prices have tumbled, and Platt sees some tough decisions coming for many producers, “They cannot find or afford the corn to feed the sows and they are losing money when they sell them.”
Joe Moore, with the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, says cattle producers are in a similar situation, “We are in a sell position; cattle producers are liquidating herds due to input costs.” Moore said cattle markets have not dropped that much but cattle numbers are at historically low levels right now, “We are at the lowest number of cattle nationally since 1955.” Moore added that, as cattlemen continue to sell off the breeding herd, the situation will only get worse and stay that way for a long period of time.
All of this plus crop losses for corn and soybean growers will have a big impact on the rural economy, according to Don Villwock, with Indiana Farm Bureau, “There won’t be as many tractors bought this winter, as many new pickup trucks bought, and certainly cash rent and land prices will go down.” He added farmers will have to see some stabilization in weather patterns before they will be ready to make long term investments.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/drought-impactwrap.mp3|titles=Hoosier Livestock Producers in Liquidation Mode]