After the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) hit last year, pig farmers responded by growing their herds to make up for lost production. Big supplies hit the market, but consumers are picking them up, analysts said.

To be clear, having supplies to sell is important. But having too much drives prices lower, said Dave Struthers, a pig farmer and Story County Farm Bureau member in Collins. Struthers is president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

"Without people wanting our product and having good demand for it, the price goes down. The price goes down, we don’t make money, then we don’t stay in business," Struthers said.

It’s important not only to build demand domestically, but around the world, Struthers added.

Checkoff-funded marketing strategies have helped extend pork’s reach domestically, said Ceci Snyder, vice president of domestic marketing for the National Pork Board.

A recent campaign was the Porkcast — a weather-triggered ad campaign that matches a pork recipe to...