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U.S. pork farmers panic as virus ruins hopes for great year

A Des Moines man who recorded a show pig's treatment at the Iowa State Fair has been banned from the fair for life. (USDA)
A Des Moines man who recorded a show pig's treatment at the Iowa State Fair has been banned from the fair for life. (USDA)(KWQC)
Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 8:10 AM CDT
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Restaurant closures due to the coronavirus have contributed to an estimated $5 billion in losses this year for the U.S. pork industry, and almost overnight millions of hogs stacking up on farms now have little value.

Some farmers have resorted to killing piglets because plunging sales mean there is no room to hold additional animals in increasingly cramped conditions.

After extended trade disputes and worker shortages, this was supposed to finally be the year hog farmers hit it big with prices expected to climb amid soaring domestic and foreign demand.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is promising to send cash and buy stored pork but industry leaders say it might not be enough to stem devastating losses.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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