Elizabethtown, KY – The H1N1 flu pandemic has hurt western Kentucky hog farmers who were already feeling the pinch. But those with the State Pork Producers Association are still optimistic. Executive Director Mike Ovesen says there are between 400 and 500 pork producers in the Purchase and Pennyrile regions alone. He says when the virus was termed "swine flu," those in western Kentucky and across the state saw a drop in hog prices on the futures market. Even though the flu strain has not been linked to pigs, Oveson says prices have fallen about 12 dollars.
"The futures market just dived. I think it will recover. But the problem is who got locked in where? You know, if you were the one who said, okay, I can't let it go any further. I gotta pull the trigger right here."
Oveson says pork producers were already in a tight spot before the health scare. Higher corn and soybean prices have skyrocketed, making it more expensive for farmers to feed their pigs.