Ag Expert: Reports of bacon shortage probably overblown

September 24, 2012

Caroline O'Donovan

(Flickr/Cookbookman17)

The National Pig Association of Britain says bacon prices around the world could double because of feed shortages. 

Rising grain prices, a result of this summer's drought, may become prohibitive for some farmers. Some will be forced to thin their herds to save costs, possibly reducing pork output by 10 percent by the end of last year. The report predicts this could cause pork prices to nearly double. 

Chris Hurt is a professor of Agricultural Economy at Purdue University. He says any talk of doubling pork prices are alarmist. In the United States, Hurt says we will see pork prices rise about 3-4 percent. Retail bacon prices are likely to rise because, for true fans of bacon, price is not prohibitive.

Hurt says demand for bacon is steady, and that people are generally willing to pay more for it. And of course, whatever is happening in Europe, the majority of the pork we consume in Chicago comes from right here in the Midwest.

"If you consume bacon, you like bacon," Hurt said, "you’re gonna have bacon and eggs and you’re gonna have bacon with those eggs. It’s not a big expenditure in the overall food budget or in our family’s budget and consequently people who consume bacon, consume bacon."