Madison hog farmer explains higher bacon prices - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison hog farmer explains higher bacon prices

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Bacon lovers could expect to pay more for the fatty pork belly slices in coming months. Bacon lovers could expect to pay more for the fatty pork belly slices in coming months.
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MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Bacon lovers could expect to pay more for the fatty pork belly slices in coming months.

Agricultural economists say the drought that destroyed a considerable portion of America's corn crops are partly to blame.

The rising cost of corn feed has already affected the price of beef, but local hog raisers are also seeing the impacts.

Henry Fudge, owner of Fudge Family Farms in Madison, said the cost of corn feed spiked from $180 per ton to about $215 per ton in recent months.

He said that translates to higher prices for pork products in supermarkets.

"Here, it has driven up the cost of production and squeezed our profit margin," Fudge said.

Fudge raises Duroc hogs, which provide fattier bacon than those derived from Yorkshire hogs.

"It's a bigger bodied, looser-made hog with more belly on it, which is actually where your bacon comes from," he said.

Fudge said the so-called bacon shortage may be accurate. Many farmers resorted to liquidating female hogs earlier than usual in order to avoid spending more money on expensive feed.

Fudge also noted there is an increased demand for bacon among consumers and even within pop culture, as evidenced by bacon appearing in ice cream sundaes, chocolate and cocktails, among other things.

Fudge buys his hogs then sends them to Amish farmers to have them raised to adulthood. He then repurchases his hogs and butchers them in Paris, Tennessee before the meat is sold to local buyers.

"We sell our meat primarily to the high-end restaurants so we get a premium for our prime cuts and about half goes that way and the rest of it would become bacon and sausage that we sell at Star Market," Fudge said.

Fudge Family Farms is located in Madison on 13181 Sugar Plum Lane. He said those interested in purchasing his pork can contact him at 256-652-7440 or e-mail him at fudgeh@bellsouth.net.

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