Author

Edward Dailey

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date

1957

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Economics

Abstract

The improvement of product quality is an end constantly sought by those who produce goods for sale in competition. This is especially true for farmers whose varied products compete with one another and with industrial goods in the case of fiber. Dairy farmers, wool growers, wheat farmers, livestock men, truck farmers and others have all sought to improve the quality of their products as a means of both increasing the market and maintaining their respective share of the existing market. One of the most concentrated and extensive efforts in quality improvement has been by the swine industry. Practically all groups, private and public, concerned with swine have sought by one means or another to upgrade their product. Most of the effort to improve quality has been directed to producers of the primary product-slaughter hogs. For many farmers hogs have been the foundation of a successful farming enterprise. Certain developments in recent years however, indicate that those connected with the swine industry may well pause and review the current situation. Abundant production of lard has caused lard prices to drop steadily until the price is now about one-third below the pre-Korean level. These price declines are mainly the result of heavy accumulation of stocks and reduced export demand. Lard prices have also suffered in the face of fast increasing competition from vegetable fats and oils. Hogs carrying excessive fat have resulted in a product which consumers tend to resist. This has reduced the competitive position of pork with beef and other meats. Many of those in the meat trade and many concerned with the swine industry have come to the conclusion that if pork is to remain competitive with beef and other meat some action must be taken to improve its quality. One course of action is to replace the lard-type or fat-type hog with the “meat-type”. This has received support from the United States Department of Agriculture, agriculture colleges, most of the meat-packing industry and from swine producers, both purebred and commercial. A vast amount of educational and promotional effort has been used to encourage producers to shift to raising more meat-type and fewer lard-type hogs. Despite these combined efforts progress has been slow. Estimates by industry are that 12 to 15% of market hogs are meat-type. Some headway has been noticeable in reducing the market weights during the post-World War II years. The fact that there has been little response to the educational efforts to shift hog types has led to the belief that there may be obstacles which are not recognized by those promoting the change. Among the reasons advanced for retaining lard-type hogs is that production costs of meat-type hogs exceed those of lard-type. Yet studies by workers at different stations report that this need not be a limiting factor. Another reason is that there are limited or no premiums being paid for producing a higher quality product. Yet it is reported that premiums are being paid. Much needs to be learned about the practices connected with paying premiums such as the amount, the variation, the periods when they are and are not paid, variation due to market supplies, etc. Perhaps producers need to regulate farrowing dates more closely and employ either forced or delayed feeding in order to take advantage of premiums.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine
Swine -- Marketing

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

84

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Rights

No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-NC/1.0/

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