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Pork shortage rumors have some squealing

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With attention turned on rumors of a pork shortage, the fact is pork prices may rise next year.

Worry last week over pork supply started after the National Pig Association, a British trade organization, published a Sept. 20 news release warning of an “unavoidable” worldwide pork and bacon shortage.

The organization cited data showing European Union herd numbers have fallen in the past year.

Some U.S. media, businesspeople and experts question the severity of the organization’s claim. An American Farm Bureau Federation economist told the Associated Press a potential bacon shortage is “overblown” and “baloney.”

While the pork supply is secure, the AP reports that the ongoing U.S. drought means less corn production and higher cost for feeding pigs and eventual higher cost of pig products.

To pass the feed cost to consumers, farmers will slaughter more pigs, creating a brief oversupply of cheaper pork before decreasing the supply and increasing the price.

Similar effects may be seen with soybean and wheat products, according to ETF Daily News.

Chad Carr, an assistant professor in UF’s animal sciences department, said the pork issue is no concern to Americans.

Adam Brewer, owner of the Adam’s Rib Company barbeque restaurant and catering service, based in Gainesville, said the shortage is only a matter of time, but people shouldn’t panic.

“When and if it does happen, you know, there might have to be a price adjustment,” Brewer said. “We will still try to find value for the consumer.”

Additional reporting by Caitlin Lawrence.

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