2021 was, overall, a great year for corn and soybean farmers in Indiana. Brian Martin, co-owner of Martin Family Farms in Warren County and president of the Indiana Pork Producers Association, says it treated pig farmers pretty well too.
“2021 was a pretty good market year for us, overall. ‘22 looks good, but there’s a lot of volatility in our world and in our industry, certainly. So, that relates, of course, to Ukraine and oil prices, etcetera. Probably our biggest single issue industrywide is the potential of ASF, or African swine fever, landing in the U.S.”
Martin adds that if ASF hits the U.S., it would decimate the pork industry by putting a halt to exports for a period of time.
“And that period of time could be months, it could be years. In the U.S. today, we export 27% of what we produce. So, we take 27% off the market and we expect it would decimate the market. We’d see it cut by 60 or 70 percent and we don’t know how long that would last.”
While ’22 hog market prices are dramatically higher than ’21, Martin says the ongoing market volatility and the rising costs of fuel, feed, and other inputs will challenge pig farmers this year.
“Simple math- probably 20% increase, at least, in inputs. We just need the market to follow that through time. The issue isn’t so much today. It’s how volatile it will be come April or August. It’s unpredictable. Same as the stock market.”
Martin spoke with HAT at Monday evening’s Taste of Elegance event in downtown Indianapolis hosted by Indiana Pork. A number of local chefs were cooking up unique pork dishes for a chance to win prize money and for guests to enjoy. We’ll have more from that event coming soon from Hoosier Ag Today.