October is Pork Month. A good time to look at hog production in Tama County. The livestock industry is a very important component of the economy of Tama County. Hog production is especially important as a value-added industry that utilizes the feed grain production of the region. Twelve percent of the corn and twelve percent of the soybeans produced in Tama County are fed to hogs in the county.
These are difficult times for hog producers. According to the National Pork Producers Council, cash hog prices fell sharply in the three weeks following the initial media reports of the H1N1 flu outbreak. Demand is down and U.S. export markets closed. Even after many months of informing people and media that the disease was not correctly named, and this disease, (H1N1) was a new and totally different virus; people still are hesitant to purchase pork.
I am happy to read in the paper; that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is speaking up in support of pork producers. Late last month, the USDA purchased an additional $30 million in pork for food and nutrition programs. I think this should convey a message of the safety of eating pork.
The Pork industry is very important for the economy in Tama County.