Farmers prepare for looming bacon shortage
High grain prices and low pig populations at the root of problem
High prices for grain and low prices for pork mean that "taking home the bacon" has a whole new meaning for hog farmers in Nova Scotia.
Instead of filling grain tanks, Stewiacke hog farmer Herman Berfalo said he's only buying a few weeks of hog feed at a time for his 3,000 pigs.
Experts say the world could be on the verge of a significant bacon shortage because of rising feed costs and declining pig populations.
Britain's National Pig Association said Tuesday that an international shortage of bacon and other pork products is now "unavoidable," and expects higher prices will soon affect consumers.
Berfalo said there's no doubt that in the coming months there will be a shortage of pork products, including bacon.
"There is going to be a shortage because the way grain prices have gone — and that's worldwide. We've got producers going out right across Canada and in the United States and in Britain, and I've seen some articles in countries like Holland and in the Euro zone are all going out of business because of the cost of feed," he said.
Berfalo said there are still pigs on farms to supply the food chain in North America and Europe, but it's not going to last.
"Right now the price of pork has really dropped because so many are coming on the market and that's the sign of a shrinking of the industry. Sows are on the market and there won't be any," he said.
The Canadian Pork Council confirms that the size of North America's pig herd is shrinking, which will drive up prices as farmers start to limit supply.