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Economic impacts of the mortality rate for suckling pigs in the United States

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  • 1 Losinger Economic Consulting Services, 5212 Kingsbury Estates Dr, Plainfield, IL 60544.

Abstract

Objective—To measure economic impacts attributable to the mortality rate for suckling pigs in the United States.

Design—Economic analysis that incorporated data from various sources.

Sample Population—Suckling pigs on US swine farms.

Procedure—Economic impacts associated with the mortality rate for suckling pigs during 1995 were estimated from supply-and-demand curves for pork and from an estimate of the elasticity of production for pigs entering the grower-finisher phase of production.

Results—A decrease in the mortality rate for suckling pigs would have caused an increase in pork production and a decrease in price and total value of production. Assuming no suckling pigs had died during 1995, consumer surplus would have increased by (mean ± SE) $430 ± $160 million, whereas producer surplus would have decreased by $180 ± $140 million. The total gain to the US economy would have been $250 ± $30 million.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Researchers who attempt to estimate the economic impact of mortality and morbidity rates of livestock should not ignore the influence of demand and the possibility of price adjustments. Consumers would stand to benefit from an increase in pork production associated with a reduction in the mortality rate for suckling pigs, whereas the swine industry would experience an economic loss. Individual producers need to compare the costs of measures intended to reduce the mortality rate for suckling pigs with the anticipated benefits. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:896–902)

Abstract

Objective—To measure economic impacts attributable to the mortality rate for suckling pigs in the United States.

Design—Economic analysis that incorporated data from various sources.

Sample Population—Suckling pigs on US swine farms.

Procedure—Economic impacts associated with the mortality rate for suckling pigs during 1995 were estimated from supply-and-demand curves for pork and from an estimate of the elasticity of production for pigs entering the grower-finisher phase of production.

Results—A decrease in the mortality rate for suckling pigs would have caused an increase in pork production and a decrease in price and total value of production. Assuming no suckling pigs had died during 1995, consumer surplus would have increased by (mean ± SE) $430 ± $160 million, whereas producer surplus would have decreased by $180 ± $140 million. The total gain to the US economy would have been $250 ± $30 million.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Researchers who attempt to estimate the economic impact of mortality and morbidity rates of livestock should not ignore the influence of demand and the possibility of price adjustments. Consumers would stand to benefit from an increase in pork production associated with a reduction in the mortality rate for suckling pigs, whereas the swine industry would experience an economic loss. Individual producers need to compare the costs of measures intended to reduce the mortality rate for suckling pigs with the anticipated benefits. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:896–902)