Editor's Note: Skyrocketing feed prices and the everyday uncertainties in the hog market have veteran pork producers and newcomers alike scratching their heads and scrimping wherever they can to save a few dollars — and to survive.
The old pork production playbook that has served the industry so well in recent decades unfortunately doesn't offer an effective game plan for the next couple of years — maybe longer.
There are no quick fixes. No single strategy. No individual with all the answers. Particularly now, procrastination is not your friend.
But there are some buying and selling strategies that can help during these tumultuous times. To gain a better understanding of the risk management tactics being utilized in the trenches, I recently spent some time with a lender, a marketing specialist and a couple of pork producers to garner some survival tips that could fit into your operation.
The lender represents one of the nation's largest pork investment portfolios. One producer is aggressively focused on feed costs and relatively long-term buying and selling strategies for an 11,000-sow, farrow-to-finish production system. The other producer has initiated an exit strategy, encouraged by his banker. The cooperative marketing firm representative offers guidance for those struggling to manage short- and long-term marketing strategies.
I chose to forego my monthly editorial column, From My Perspective, to allow more space for these timely management suggestions. I hope they provide some help during these stressful times.