High prices: When pigs fly

Kai Ryssdal Dec 26, 2013
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High prices: When pigs fly

Kai Ryssdal Dec 26, 2013
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Bacon was everywhere in 2013.

There was the Denny’s “Baconalia!” menu, which featured pork in pancakes, macaroni and cheese, and even ice cream. Chicken-fried bacon made headlines in Texas and we heard about a bacon martini in Las Vegas.

And then there was the government shutdown, which left farmers without a way to calculate the price to set for each of their hogs.

“After the government got back to work and the prices started to get reported again we had a nice counter season rally on the pork market,”  says Brian Duncan, a hog farmer in Polo, Ill. “On the production side, the market’s done what it usually does this time of year when the market has gone down. So this is a tough time seasonally for pork producers to make money.”

Currently, bacon will run about $6 a pound, the highest the price has been since 1980.

“When you go buy bacon, that’s a value-added product.” Duncan says. “I would challenge you though to go look at the bargains in the meat case. Take a look at say ham which is also a value-added product but are dirt cheap right now.”

Duncan says a 40-percent drop in corn and grain prices is one of the few bright spots currently offsetting hog prices.

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