WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Pork prices are expected to increase nearly seven percent because of a deadly virus which killed more than 2 million baby pigs nationwide this winter.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or PED, is a virus that is fatal in nearly all infected piglets less than two weeks old.
New numbers through the winter months were released in the USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.
Purdue Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt said from December to February, the average herd lost about seven percent of baby pigs. That is more than three times the losses from September to November.
Hurt said the shortage will be noticed at the grocery stores later this year.
“Last year, we averaged about $3.64 per retail pound of pork. We think this year we’re probably going to be around $3.90 per retail pound of pork. That’s going to be up about seven percent,” said Hurt.
Hurt said the virus is still far from being under control.
PED cannot be transmitted into humans.