There may be a glimmer of hope in a slight reduction in the June-August 2008 farrowing intentions which are pegged at 3.037 million sows which is down 2 percent from the same period in 2007. “You can start to see a little bit of interest in reducing the herd in response to losses producers have incurred,” says James Mintert, professor and Extension leader, Kansas State University. “We are starting to see a response but it’s pretty slow.”

Mintert is increasingly concerned with the 2008 corn marketing year. “If we have any crop production problems this summer, we could be setting the industry up for a train wreck in terms of losses,” he warns. “We’re obviously experiencing large losses in the industry now and most of us think that will continue. Losses could be catastrophic if we experience adverse weather conditions this summer.”

Mintert also warned of the possibility of a smaller than expected actual corn planted acreage number which will come out in June.