A survey conducted by the National Pork Board (NPB) in November, indicated that producers were prepared for the changes on antibiotic usage that went into effect on Jan. 1 this year, as PORK Network reported in this article. It also provided insight on how U.S. pork producers felt about the Pork Checkoff, industry challenges and more.

“The National Pork Board’s annual November survey was designed to take the pulse of U.S. pork production,” NPB said. “The survey showed that for the seventh consecutive year, pork producer support for the Pork Checkoff increased and is now at a record 91% – up 1% from the 2015 survey. Meanwhile, opposition to the Checkoff remains at a record low 4%. These results are the most positive in the history of the survey.”

According to NPB, other highlights from the survey included:

·  Right direction/wrong track. The survey showed that 76% of producers said the industry is heading “in the right direction,” improving from the previous year’s score of 70%. Of those surveyed, 19% feel the industry is “on the wrong track.” This improvement in optimism is encouraging despite the market supply pressure many are feeling with lower prices for pigs.

·  “Too many rules/regulations.” Too many regulations was the top challenge facing producers, according to the survey. In previous years, the main challenge was viewed as “managing hog health and disease.” That previously No. 1 concern fell to No. 4 this year, a significant drop.

·   Single most important request: Producers’ No. 1 request of the Checkoff is to educate consumers on pork production and the industry. This was followed closely by advertising and promoting pork and opening new markets.

“America’s pig farmers understand that growing domestic and export demand for pork is critical, but it all starts with building trust,” Archer said in a news release from the organization. “This survey bears out that it begins with educating consumers about how pigs are raised, pork’s safety and its nutritional value.”

This most recent national survey is based on phone interviews with 550 producers across the country.