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Pig Virus Driving Up The Price of Pork

SPRINGFIELD, MO. -- The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus or PEDV has killed millions of pigs throughout the country. Since the virus was first reported in the U.S. last year, a decrease in pigs has impacted the price of pork.
SPRINGFIELD, MO. -- You can find just about every cut of pork at Horrmann's Meat Company.

"Bone in pork chops, pork tenderloins," said Seth Hoerman, owner of the meat market.

Hoerman said he has always purchased most of his meats from local farmers, but recently had to raise his pork prices.

"I would say it's probably gone up 20 to 30-percent," he said. "I've been slow to do it, hoping the market will stabilize and then we can figure out what we're going to do. I don't want to jerk instantly until we can figure it out."

In the span of less than a year, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus or P.E.D.V. has killed millions of baby pigs.

Most reports of P.E.D.V. outbreaks in Missouri have come from the northern and central part of the state.

The virus does not affect humans and poses no food safety risk. But the virus' toll on pigs is trickling up the industry. Since the virus was first reported in the U.S. last year, a decrease in pigs has impacted the price of pork.

According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics, bacon costs 13-percent more than it did a year ago.

"I''m paying almost double what I was this time last year for some pork prices," said Hoerman.

He said he has had to cut down on his pork supply.

"I'm not carrying quite as much inventory because I want to see what happens," said Hoerman. "I try to make purchases as I need to as opposed to stocking up."

Prices are expected to increase through the spring and summer.

"Honestly if it gets up to 80-percent, I'm probably still going to purchase it," said Daniel Call, who buys meat at Horrmann's. "It's maybe not quite as much, but its still going to happen."

Call said if the prices get too high, he's going to hog down his own supply of pork.

"At that point, I'm going to dip in my deep freeze and get the stuff that I already purchased at a lower price and I'll worry about it later," he said.

It's typical for meat prices to rise around this time of year since we're approaching grilling season.

Hoermann said it's unusual for beef, pork, and chicken prices to go up at this rate all at the same time.

He said he hasn't seen much of a decrease in his customers buying pork, but it may be too early to tell with pork prices expected to continue to rise.

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