WASHINGTON, April 9, 2014 – USDA cut its estimate for U.S. pork production for this year by 2.5 percent from its March forecast, citing piglet losses from the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

Production will total 22.777 billion pounds, down from 23.377 billion forecast in March and down from 23.215 billion pounds estimated for 2013, the department said today in a monthly report.

While producers have indicated they plan to increase sows farrowing in the March through August period, “the loss of piglets due to PEDv is expected to result in lower slaughter during the remainder of the year,” USDA said. And while carcass weights are expected to be higher, “those gains will be insufficient to offset the reduced slaughter numbers,” according to the report.

Total red meat and poultry production was lowered from last month as higher beef production is more than offset by lower pork, broiler, and turkey production, USDA said.

PEDv, which first appeared in the U.S. a year ago, causes severe gastrointestinal distress in pigs. While hog usually recover, infected piglets most often die. The virus does not affect other species or humans and does not affect pork quality.


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