Recently several pork processors have made announcements that will greatly affect the Indiana swine industry.
In response to the anticipated rising demand for US pork products due the impact African Swine Fever has had on global pork supply, JBS USA (Swift and Swift Premium) and Tyson Foods will prohibit the use of ractopamine (Paylean) in market hogs the company buys beginning in February 2020. Although ractopamine is an FDA-approved feed ingredient that helps increase the amount of lean meat in hogs, some countries such as China, prohibit the import of pork from hogs that have been fed the product. This policy change will allow these companies to better position themselves to fill increased export demand for pork. Producers will have until Feb. 4, 2020, to meet the new requirement. These companies have said it plans to work with pork producers over the next several months to begin the process of testing hogs to ensure they are ractopamine-free, ensuring compliance.
What does this mean for 4-H animals? Counties that market swine to these pork processors will also have to comply with these new requirements. It’s predicted that the marketing of 4-H animals may become more difficult, as ractopamine is widely utilized in show pig feeds. Indiana 4-H is not banning the use of ractopamine in 4-H swine, but is bringing awareness that the use of this feed additive will limit hog processing to more local markets and /or other smaller processors. As always, it is important to use products responsibly under the proper label use. We will continue to follow up to keep the industry at the forefront of our educational efforts.
We have been in contact with our swine buyer. At this time they are still willing to base bid our hogs, but as their market demands change, we might find that changes as well. Please keep this in mind as you are preparing your projects for 2020.