The organizers of the proposed Producer Retirement Program have announced the program will not take effect due to a lack of participation. The Producer Retirement Program was designed to supplement sow cull prices that program participants would otherwise receive for their sows if they decided to exit all or a portion of their production for a two-year period.

“Market conditions have changed dramatically for the worse for the pork industry in the past few months,” according to Chuck Wirtz of Whittemore, Iowa, chairman of the board of directors of the Producer Retirement Program. “Unfortunately, since this group of pork producers began work designing the PRP, most producers with sows are no longer in a financial position to support the program.”

Despite the end of the PRP, sow culling is increasing within the industry. Ken Goldman, J.P. Morgan analyst, said sow herd culling is well underway, reports Goldman quoted industry sources by saying sows are flooding the market with buyers booked weeks in advance.

According to, Smithfield Foods has already begun reducing its sow herd beyond last fiscal year's 10 percent reduction, according to C. Larry Pope, Smithfield president and chief executive officer.