Carthage Veterinary Service COVID-19 Pork Industry Update June 22, 2020

CVS Clients – as we continue to move through this challenging time in the pork industry, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will continue to provide you with periodic updates.  Now that we are starting to see things normalize, or at least reach a new normal, our updates will not be as frequent as they have been in the past.  As always, if there is breaking information that is time sensitive, we will get it out to you as soon as possible.  Our work here at CVS will continue to focus on finding solutions for the challenges you are facing.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help or information.  


    1. Packing plants have done a great job to work back towards full capacity, despite ongoing challenges. Week 24 data shows 88% head slaughtered with 2.2M versus full capacity of 2.5M.
    2. For the first time in several weeks we had a slaughter number that was higher this past week than the previous year.
    3. Market weights continue to slide with most producers in good shape at normal weight loads. Last week’s average carcass had dropped to 217.
    4. Producers have been forced to break many health rules regarding flow and have pigs in many locations and multiple ages on the same site. This has worked and will continue to be necessary in the short term, but still need to work through national backlog of pigs.  
    5. The industry has removed significant numbers of pigs out of the system through methods listed below. These removals will reduce ready to market pigs in Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan and may be where we catch up on the backlog of pigs:
      • Feeder pig loads – moved all across the country to alternative markets
      • Market pig loads – have moved all across the country. Local lockers have really stepped up over the past months and have been running well beyond their normal capacity.  In addition to this many pigs have been sold to individuals for at home butchering across the country.  The combination of these things has actually removed a fairly significant number of pigs from the overall market.  
      • Euthanizing piglets – to match finishing flow
      • All in all, the industry is holding the line on market hogs and we continue to see weights come down or at least stay steady.

Reminder of Assistance Programs Available 

    1. Iowa Disposal Assistance Program
      • Round 3 open until June 22
      • Offering producers $40 per approved animal to cover some of the disposal cost for market-ready hogs less than 225 lbs.
      • Visit for complete details. 
    2. Illinois Pork Mortality Disposal Grant
      • IL Pork launched a small producer grant earlier this week. Grant funds can be requested up to $3,000. Click herefor the application. 
    3. USDA CFAP(Coronavirus Food Assistance Program ) 
      • UDSA is accepting applications now through August 28.
      • Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.
      • Producers who applied for c or EDIL are still eligible to apply for CFAP.
    4. Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness
    5. CARES Act 
      • Funding for livestock management will be appropriated to Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
      • Illinois Department of Ag is currently working with them, and when an update becomes available we will be sure to share this information.