Oklahoma Pork Council's Roy Lee Lindsey Explains Sow IncreaseThu, 31 Mar 2016 17:30:49 CDT
The Oklahoma pork industry is making a strong shift from market hogs to breeding stock according to the recent USDA Hogs and Pigs Report released March 25. The state's breeding herd increased nine percent since March 2015, making Oklahoma the fifth largest sow state in the U.S.
Oklahoma Pork Council Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey said this is an expected trend as more processing capacity - up to 10 million head per year - is being proposed in the Midwest.
"We know we can raise baby pigs, and then we can ship them to the Midwest to have them finished," Lindsey said. "Our goal is to make Oklahoma the best state in the country to raise baby pigs."
Lindsey said the increase is not a result of more farms but of renovations to existing facilities around the state.
"We're not adding farms," he said. "We're just changing the nature of what those farms look like."
The USDA report also indicated the number of market hogs has decreased six percent in the past year.
Lindsey said there will still be a need for hogs to keep the existing processing plant in Guymon full, so not all market hog operations will be eliminated. However, more than 500,000 new sows are going to be needed in the next few years to fill the proposed processing capacity.
"Some of those sows are going to end up in Oklahoma," he said. "We have great climate, we have good people and we have good resources. This is an ideal location to produce baby pigs."
Roy Lee will also join Ron Hays for the weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.
Hays and Lindsey also talked about the continuing conversation between the USDA and the pork industry over the sale of the "Other White Meat" trademark. And Roy Lee provided an update on State Question 777. Click below to hear the full interview.
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