Data and sustainability in pork industry

LEAD Comment: Documenting sustainability practices is key for pork producers.


Bill Luckey, National Hog Farmer

Sep 16, 2022


I live near Columbus, Neb., and we own a hog finishing operation, raise corn and soybeans, and feed some cattle. September was a busy month of pork meetings, with sustainability as a primary subject.


We as farmers, whether it be crop or livestock producers, need to tell our story about how we are being sustainable on our farm. The We Care ethical principles that I practice on my fourth-generation farm address sustainability efforts. Documenting and measuring the sustainability impact of these practices is important to demonstrate these principles to those who process, purchase and, ultimately, consume pork.


For decades, we have been at the forefront of sustainability embracing advancements that allow us to do more with less. For example, I use manure rather than commercial fertilizer on more than half of my acres because manure improves soil structure and reduces the risk of runoff.


Swine manure may reduce phosphorus loss by up to 46% if there is a runoff event shortly after application, such as heavy rain. Many of our practices make an economical and sustainable impact the next step is to document this progress.


Building trust ...


Proving sustainability efforts ...