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Purdue Economist Says Swine Flu Hurting Hoosier Pig Farmers

Last updated on Thursday, April 30, 2009

(WEST LAFAYETTE) - A Purdue University agricultural economist says pork producers are suffering on the global market because of this human strain of swine flu, but the industry will not collapse because of it.

Ag economist Chris Hurt says pork producers have been struggling for the last 2 years because of last year's high cost of feed when gas prices were so high and lowered demand in this economy.

Hurt admits the term "swine flu" is a PR problem, especially in the export market where countries are ignoring the facts of the flu's human-to-human spread and denying the exports of hogs and pork products.

Hurt says poultry and beef producers suffered the same problems in the days of avian flu and mad cow disease.

Hurt doesn't believe pork consumption will be effected in the US once the public learns the facts.

Hurt also says the public and the media will continue to refer to the illness as "swine flu" because the public is already familiar with the term.

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