What Lies Ahead for Swine Feed Costs?

The recent volatility in the corn and soybean markets increases the uncertainty related to swine feed costs and margins. This article documents the impact of corn and soybean meal prices on feed cost indices for a farrow-to-finish enterprise and a hog finishing enterprise, and provides projections for both swine enterprises. It is important to note that the hog finishing enterprise assumes the finishing of an early-weaned pig. Rations for both enterprises consist of corn, soybean meal, dry distillers’ grain, and supplements. Corn prices represent averages for Indiana as reported by USDA-NASS. Soybean meal and distillers’ grain prices are obtained from Feed Outlook, published monthly by USDA-ERS. Information from Agricultural Prices, a monthly USDA-NASS publication, was used to compute supplement prices. Future prices for corn and soybean meal are used to project feed indices through 2017. Feed cost indices are reported on a closeout month rather than a placement month basis.

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