How livestock farmers are struggling because of coronavirus : The Indicator from Planet Money The Federal Reserve's Beige Book provides anecdotes from various parts of the economy. This month's edition illustrates the pain being suffered by pig farmers.
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The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer

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The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer

The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer

The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer

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Dane Rhys/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A farmer checks on young female pigs at a hog farm in Smithville, Ohio, U.S. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will establish a "coordination center" to help livestock and poultry producers hurt by coronavirus-induced meatpacking plant closures. Photographer: Dane Rhys/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Dane Rhys/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Beige Book is a collection of stories from regions around the country. These stories come from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks all across the country. The Beige Book came out this week, and it was a hard one to read, full of horrible anecdotes from all over the economy: hotels reported being mostly empty, oil companies laying everybody off, car sales at close to zero.

One anecdote that caught our eye came from The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It read: "With no place to deliver market-ready animals, farmers were forced to slow herd growth (including by euthanizing hogs.)"

We wanted to take a look at the story behind that sentence, so we called a pig farmer in Illinois — not far from Chicago — about business, pork prices and why farmers are killing their animals.

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