BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — The number of hog-feeding businesses
in southeast Iowa could grow quickly if Des Moines County officials approve all
the proposed projects.
County officials are considering five different proposals to
build animal-feeding operations that could hold up to 2,500 hogs, the
Burlington Hawk Eye reported. The county already is home to 24 confined animal-feeding
Jeff Prier of the state Department of Natural Resources said
Des Moines County likely has room for more hog-feeding operations.
“Des Moines County is not very hog dense,” he said.
An Iowa company called Agri-Way Partners is behind three of
the five proposed hog-feeding operations. Company spokesman Mark Wilkerson said
the firm is owned by 22 poultry farms near Wayland.
One of the major players in the growth of hog-feeding
businesses is Cargill, which is one of the largest pork producers. The company
has hog-processing facilities near Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Ill., and the
company is developing more of its own hog-feeding operations.
Cargill spokesman Michael Martin said pork production needs
to be expanded because of the porcine virus that has killed several million
hogs. And right now, demand for bacon and other pork products is high.
“There’s bacon ice cream, bacon everything,” Martin said,
adding that Cargill is optimistic about the long-term demand for pork.
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