Indiana Pork Producers

Indiana Pork Producers and a Hancock County family farm took their Statehouse testimony to a hog barn this week. The group is worried lawmakers will put more regulations on animal agriculture.

The legislature is studying large animal farms this summer – barns that hold hundreds to thousands of animals. The larger ones are known as CAFOS.

Hill Farms is slightly smaller. Heather Hill says regulations have become stricter over the decades.

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana has the fifth largest pig farming industry in the country, turning out 8.5 million hogs a year. But some are too small for the huge slaughterhouses that require pigs to be a certain size and condition for speedy processing.

Now, Indiana's industry to broker these smaller pigs is growing.

Nebraska-based Wiechman Pig Company opened a new facility in Delphi in late March. Inside, a big, friendly sow greets manager Jeff Petree. She's one of a couple dozen pigs he bought from Indiana farmers in his opening week.

Stephen & Claire Farnsworth / https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_farnsworths/

Indiana hog farmers are taking precautions against another round of a virus that wiped out 5-percent of the nation‘s pigs last winter.

Cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus have declined with warmer weather, but the State Fair still screened all hogs for symptoms last week.

Sarah Ford with the Indiana Pork Producers says more farmers have been inoculating their herds against the virus, and paying extra attention to washing out their trucks.

She says the National Pork Board is investing millions in trying to pin down just how best to combat the virus.