While Korea's hog inventory has increased to more than 9.9 million head in 2013, Korea's demand for pork has outpaced its production. Primary due to its inability to supply high quality pork at competitive prices, the Korean swine industry is looking for new ways to be more efficient. This sector is very important for sustaining Korea's demand for U.S. grains, as it used 3.3 million metric tons of grain in 2013, or about 27 percent of the nation's total demand for grain.

Ineffective swine health management, inadequate business management and inefficient marketing systems are blamed for the low productivity and high cost of Korean pork. The industry looking to expand has experienced enormous difficulties. Scarcity of land, unfavorable social acceptance, enforced environmental regulations and more stringent manure management regulations are a few of the restrictions faced by the local producers.

The U.S. Grains Council hosted a webinar for 60 Korean swine farmers, managers, extension agents and others, about a method to improve efficiencies in the Korean swine industry. A USGC consultant discussed management of a wean-to-finish system.

Wean-to-finish swine systems are an innovative concept in Korea. Typically the Korean swine producers raise hogs to market weight at one location. To supplement the industry's limited knowledge, the webinar informed participants about facilities needed for a wean-to-finish operation, how to start pigs successful on feed when they arrive at the location and the most up-to-date management and feeding tips.

The Council has worked in the Korean swine industry from the beginning of its presence in Korea in 1972 and was instrumental in bringing modern production practices and management knowledge to the sector. The Council will continue to provide educational webinars and other programs to this important sector in Korea. Click here for more.