Higher interest rates, rising grain prices, stagnant sales prices and the discovery of dioxin in German chicken feed have thousands of pig farmers uneasy about their prospects for 2011.
In its most recent report, the Pig Research Centre forecasted in December that pig farms were likely to lose in the neighbourhood of 500,000 kroner on average in 2011. Should the predictions hold, 2011 would represent a step back for the industry, which last year saw many farmers making a return to profitability after a catastrophic 2009.
The consensus among banks is the recession has the potential to unleash a wave of losses stemming from loans to agricultural producers.
Experts point to four things that must go right over the next few months if the industry is to right itself.