(UNDATED) - Indiana appears to have gotten off relatively easy in a virus outbreak on the nation's hog farms.
Purdue agronomist Chris Hurt says the first comprehensive report from the USDA on the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus indicates the one-two punch of the disease and harsh weather killed 2.7-million piglets nationwide in six months. That's five-percent of the nation's hog herds -- but analysts had been forecasting a seven-percent loss.
The flu-like illness wiped out significant numbers of baby pigs in six of the nation's 16 top pork-producing states, with Ohio hardest hit at 20-percent. But Hurt estimates Hoosier hog farms lost just two-percent of their litters.
Hurt says the losses are still significant to hog farmers, and says the reduced supply should become apparent in July and August, with pork prices rising accordingly.
But he says the arc of similar illnesses in the past suggests losses should drop off with the arrival of warmer weather.
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