Iowa and Regional Analysis of the Pork Industry
Based on a nationwide survey of pork producers, Iowa producers are competitive with and, in many cases, comparable to other Corn Belt pork producers. Although Iowa operations grew more rapidly from 1996 to 1998, producers actually plan to reduce numbers between 1998 and 2000. They are also less likely to produce at prices in the low $40s than other regions. Compared with other Corn Belt regions, Iowans use a similar amount of packer contracts, but favor a higher percentage of formula contracts over risk-sharing contracts. Iowa producers use marketing and pig-producing networks more than the national average, but use other types of networks less. One bright spot is that Iowa producers are younger than producers in other regions. There are still more producers over age 60, however, than there are under age 30 in the state.