Hog returns are projected to be heading for one of the worst years on record, rivaling the losses seen during the historic market crash in 1998, livestock economists said last week at the 2023 World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

“We’re currently seeing relatively high nominal prices for hogs, but the input costs and inflation are much higher than in the past,” stated Lee Schulz, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University (ISU). “As a whole, we see hog prices down by about 20% from 2022.”

Producer losses ahead

Schulz said the anticipated...