The end of hog slaughter at the Marshall, MO, Excel Pork packing facility may have a long-term impact on hog prices in the country, say University of Missouri (MU) livestock economists.

Cargill announced on May 30 that hog slaughter at the 8,000/head/day plant would cease on July 25. The plant will be renovated to process carcasses from other slaughter plants into case ready meats.

The impact will be significant on Missouri pork producers.

"Excel was the only major slaughter plant in the state that bought hogs from Missouri producers," says Ron Plain, ag economist. He notes that the Milan, MO, Premium Standard plant only processes hogs from PSF farms or contracted hogs.

Glenn Grimes, MU professor emeritus and long-time market analyst, estimates the closing will lower hog prices $0.50 to $1/head within a 50-mile radius of Marshall.

Producers will likely truck hogs to Excel plants at Ottumwa, IA, or Beardstown, IL. Grimes estimates the cost of trucking hogs to either plant at $1.90/head.

The Marshall plant slaughtered 40,000 head each week, with a single slaughter shift each day.

At the national level, hog production is near capacity of the remaining slaughter plants. Grimes estimates 2% growth in farrowings would fill the capacity. The latest Hogs & Pigs report shows April farrowings were down 0.4%, but pigs saved/litter increased the number of market hogs by 1%.