Publications

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  • Factors Affecting U.S. Pork Consumption

    LDPM-13001, May 12, 2005

    Pork ranks third in annual U.S. meat consumption, behind beef and chicken, averaging 51 pounds per person. The Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) indicates that most pork is consumed at home. Pork consumption is highest in the Midwest, followed by the South, the Northeast, and the West. Rural consumers eat more pork than urban/suburban consumers. Pork consumption varies by race and ethnicity. Higher income consumers tend to consume less pork. Everything else remaining constant, demographic data in the CSFII suggests future declines in per capita pork consumption as the share of Hispanics and the elderly in the population rises because those two groups eat less pork than the national average. However, total U.S. pork consumption will grow because of an expansion of the U.S. population.

  • Hog Contracts Signal Producers To Improve Quality

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    Many marketing contracts between packers and hog producers award price premiums for carcass leanness and weight, providing strong incentives for producers to raise lean hogs. But this leanness comes at a cost. The genetic lines that produced leaner hogs were often carriers of the "stress" gene, which is linked to the undesirable PSE condition. Packers have turned to marketing contracts to limit PSE problems by specifying genetic lines and hog handling procedures.

  • U.S.-Canadian Hog Trade: Market Integration at Work

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2005

    This Amber Waves feature provides a description of the economic factors that contributed to the development of U.S.-Canada hog trade.

  • Market Integration in the North American Hog Industries

    LDPM-12501, November 24, 2004

    About 8 percent of the hogs slaughtered in the United States in 2004 will originate in Canada-many more than 10 years ago. Canadian hogs have flowed into the United States in response to significant structural changes in the U.S. pork industry, concurrent with policy changes in Canada. This, combined with a strong U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rate, created incentives to expand hog operations in Ontario and to start production in Manitoba. In 15 years, an open border and pronounced breeding herd efficiencies helped to increase Canadian hog exports to the United States by more than eight-fold.

  • Pork Quality and the Role of Market Organization

    AER-835, November 08, 2004

    This study addresses changes in the organization of the U.S. pork industry, most notably marketing contracts between packers and producers, by exploring their function in addressing pork quality concerns. A number of developments brought quality concerns to the forefront. These include health concerns and corresponding preferences for lean pork, growing incidence of undesirable quality attributes (e.g., pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) meat, a result of breeding for leanness), heightened concerns over food safety and related regulatory programs, and expansion into global markets. Organizational arrangements can facilitate industry efforts to address pork quality needs by reducing measuring costs, controlling quality attributes that are difficult to measure, facilitating adaptations to changing quality standards, and reducing transaction costs associated with relationship-specific investments in branding programs.

  • In the Long Run

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2004

    Indicators: In the Long Run - November 2004

  • Slow Price Adjustments Benefit Beef and Pork Producers

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    The slow and asymmetric adjustment of cattle prices to changes in supply-and-demand conditions keeps them about 4 percent higher on average than they would be under complete adjustment. Hog prices average around 1 percent higher.

  • U.S. 2003 and 2004 Livestock and Poultry Trade Influenced by Animal Disease and Trade Restrictions

    LDPM-12001, July 01, 2004

    Disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions have slowed previously expected high growth in many U.S. animal product exports, with U.S. beef exports most affected. This report discusses how animal diseases and disease-related trade restrictions have influenced trade in animal products in the past few years, with an emphasis on 2003 and forecasts for 2004. The most important animal diseases that have affected trade in animal products in recent years have been bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Avian Influenza (AI), and Exotic Newcastle Disease (END).

  • Behind the Data

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Indicators behind the data - June 2004

  • Food Safety Innovation in the United States: Evidence from the Meat Industry

    AER-831, April 01, 2004

    Recent industry innovations improving the safety of the Nation's meat supply include new pathogen tests, high-tech equipment, supply chain management systems, and surveillance networks.

  • Traceability in the U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory and Industry Studies

    AER-830, March 18, 2004

    This investigation into the traceability baseline in the United States finds that private sector food firms have developed a substantial capacity to trace.

  • Food Safety Issues for Meat/Poultry Products and International Trade

    AIB-789-4, February 28, 2004

    This research summarizes three case studies of how trade in meat and poultry products can be affected by food safety concerns.

  • India's Poultry Sector: Development and Prospects

    WRS-0403, February 02, 2004

    Poultry meat is the fastest growing component of global meat demand, and India, the world's second largest developing country, is experiencing rapid growth in its poultry sector. In India, poultry sector growth is being driven by rising incomes and a rapidly expanding middle class, together with the emergence of vertically integrated poultry producers that have reduced consumer prices by lowering production and marketing costs. Integrated production, market transition from live birds to chilled and frozen products, and policies that ensure supplies of competitively priced domestic or imported corn and soybeans are keys to future poultry industry growth in India.

  • Country-of-Origin Labeling: Theory and Observation

    WRS-0402, January 23, 2004

    This report examines the economic rationale behind the various claims about the effects of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, thereby identifying the most likely outcomes. Profits motivate firms to innovate and introduce thousands of new food products each year to satisfy consumers' demand. Yet, food suppliers have generally not emphasized, advertised, or labeled food with U.S. country of origin. The infrequency of "Made in USA" labels on food suggests suppliers do not believe domestic origin is an attribute that can attract much consumer interest. We find little evidence that suppliers would have difficulty supplying such labels if there were sufficient consumer interest.

  • Are More Livestock Hitting the Road?

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    Shipments of hogs have increased dramatically since 1990, while cattle and sheep shipments have remained fairly steady. Recent concerns about the safety of the U.S. food supply and the potential for bioterrorism have prompted a new look at livestock movements.

  • Interstate Livestock Movements

    LPDM-10801, June 05, 2003

    This article provides a current national picture of interstate movements of cattle, hogs, and sheep. A better understanding of livestock shipping patterns helps in characterizing the livestock sectors, estimating the economic effects of major disease outbreak, and assessing marketing issues.

  • U.S. Hog and Poultry Marketing: Similar Paths, Similar Outcomes?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2003

    Recent changes in the structure of the pork industry echo past changes in the poultry industry. How U.S. pork producers and processors sell and buy hogs has changed significantly since 1990. The use of long-term contracts has largely replaced production for the open, or spot, market. Over 70 percent of hogs are sold under contracts, where producers are required to deliver a specified number of hogs to the processor at a specified time. In return, the producer receives the spot price, adjusted for the size and quality of the hogs. These developments raise concerns by some about anticompetitive behavior of large processors and the demise of small, independent farmers. Others emphasize how contracts facilitate steady flows of high-quality farm products for processing, among other benefits.

  • Economic and Structural Relationships in U.S. Hog Production

    AER-818, February 01, 2003

    Rapid change in the size and ownership structure of U.S. hog production has created new and varied challenges for the industry. This report describes an industry becoming increasingly concentrated among fewer and larger farms, and becoming more economically efficient. These changes have not come without problems. The increasing market control and power concentrated among packers and large hog operations, and the manure management problem posed by an increasing concentration of hog manure on fewer operations, are paramount concerns. Addressing these concerns through regulations would likely impose economic costs that could be passed on to consumers. In addition, the relative mobility of the hog industry means that regulations could result in significant changes in the location of hog production facilities, with ripple effects in local economies. Balancing environmental and economic interests will challenge policymakers dealing with the implications of structural change in U.S. hog production.

  • Vertical Coordination in the Pork and Broiler Industries: Implications for Pork and Chicken Products

    AER-777, April 01, 1999

    This report compares current changes in vertical coordination in the U.S. pork industry with past changes in the U.S. broiler industry. Recent changes in the structure of the U.S. pork industry reflect, in many ways, past changes in the broiler industry. Production contracts and vertical integration in the broiler industry facilitated rapid adoption of new technology, improved quality control, assured market outlets for broilers, and provided a steady flow of broilers for processing. Affordable, high-quality chicken products have contributed to continual increases in U.S. chicken consumption, which has surpassed pork and beef on a per capita basis. Incentives for contracting and vertical integration in the pork industry may yield comparable results.

  • Vertical Coordination and Consumer Welfare: The Case of the Pork Industry

    AER-753, August 01, 1997

    Net benefits to consumers are not a certainty, but the "industrialization" of the U.S. pork industry could lead to lower prices and larger supplies of higher quality pork products because of lower onfarm production costs, more efficient processing, and greater control over hog quality characteristics.