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Pork Prices Set to Jump Because of Pig Disease, Producers Say

/ Source: Reuters
Young piglets in a farrowing crate with their mother sow on the Riverdale Ranch near Whittemore, Iowa.
Young piglets in a farrowing crate with their mother sow on the Riverdale Ranch near Whittemore, Iowa.Tim Gruber / Tim Gruber

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Get ready to pay even more for that Sunday morning bacon. The price of pork for shoppers could rise by 10 to 12 percent as a virus that has killed millions of piglets continues to ravage swine across the country.

The National Pork Producers Council said Wednesday that U.S. hog prices could rise 15 to 25 percent, which would translate into a price rise of up to 12 percent at the table.

Hog slaughter this summer could fall by more than 10 percent relative to 2013 because of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), Howard Hill, NPPC president, said in testimony prepared for a House Agriculture Committee panel on the state of the livestock industry.

Young piglets in a farrowing crate with their mother sow on the Riverdale Ranch near Whittemore, Iowa.
Young piglets in a farrowing crate with their mother sow on the Riverdale Ranch near Whittemore, Iowa.Tim Gruber / Tim Gruber

The disease, which causes intense diarrhea in pigs, cannot be passed onto humans. But it has swept through litters in 30 states, killing mainly the piglets who cannot absorb enough of their mother's milk to offset the disease.

U.S. pork production will likely fall 6 to 8 percent in the third quarter, Hill said.

-- NBC News staff and Reuters

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