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July 6, 2007 A Penton Media Property



Table Of Contents
Hog, Grain Markets Begin to Settle In
To Cull or Not to Cull?
Largest Corn Crop in 63 Years



What's new at National Hog Farmer?
- Oregon Passes Gestation Stall Ban
- Building Biosecurity Boundaries
- Timing is Critical with Oral Vaccination
- Read the full June issue

NationalHogFarmer.com



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Market Preview
Hog, Grain Markets Begin to Settle In
The reaction of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Lean Hogs futures prices to last week's USDA Hogs & Pigs Report was a bit more negative than I had expected, but the downward price move didn't last long as prices found support in Thursday's trading. The weakness in cash hogs was one reason futures were lower as Tuesday's national negotiated net price ($72.37/cwt. carcass) was $6 lower than just one week before.
Click here to read more of this week's Market Preview by Steve Meyer



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Production Preview
To Cull or Not to Cull?
That is the question facing every sow unit. Some culling decisions are straightforward. Animals that have health problems or lameness issues need to be removed from a herd out of concerns for their welfare. But, what about those less-than-stellar performers -- who should stay and who should go?
Click here to read more of this week's Production Preview by Stephanie Rutten-Ramos, DVM



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Legislative Preview
Largest Corn Crop in 63 Years
USDA announced that U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn in 2007. This exceeds last year's planted acreage by 19% and is the highest since 1944, when farmers planted 95.5 million acres. Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and North Dakota set state records for acres planted to corn. The corn acres offset fewer acres planted to soybeans. USDA estimated planted soybean acres at 64.1 million, down 15% from last year's record. Cotton acres are estimated at 11.1 million acres, which is 28% below last year.

Biotech Acres Continue to Grow -- USDA's acreage report shows that U.S. farmers continue to increase their use of biotech seeds. Corn growers planted 73% of their acres with biotech seed this year, a 12% increase over last year. Soybean farmers planted 91% of their acres with biotech seed, a 2% increase over 2006. Cotton farmers planted 87% of their acres with biotech seeds, 4% more than last year.

House Agricultural Committee to Mark-up Farm Bill -- Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the committee will begin marking-up the farm bill on July 17. The committee will consider two farm bills. The first will be with PAYGO requirements (any increases in spending have to be offset with increased revenue or cuts in expenditures). The other farm bill will use the up to $20 billion reserve fund for increased spending. The committee is expected to pass the first bill and hold the second bill in case the committee is allowed to use the reserve fund at a later date. The chairman is expected to release his farm bill draft the end of this week.

TPA Expires -- Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) expired on June 30. This is the authority given to the President to negotiate trade agreements with a straight up-or-down vote by Congress. Without TPA, countries are very reluctant to negotiate with the U.S. Trade Ambassador Sue Schwab said, "America needs to remain open for business to the 95% of the world's consumers living outside the United States. American workers cannot afford for us to hang up a 'Closed for Business' sign. The United States must be in the game and not on the sidelines as other nations negotiate deals that disadvantage our businesses, farmers, ranchers and service providers. Our trading partners and competitors are already negotiating and closing trade deals around the world. At least 100 regional trade agreements have gone into force since 2002 and more than 100 are under negotiation. The President -- indeed every President -- should have TPA to ensure that the United States can best advance our country's trade interests." Many U.S. agricultural groups support the continuation of TPA. However, the National Farmers Union said, "The collapse of the Doha round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations and the impending expiration of 'Fast Track' creates an opportunity for Congress to develop a trade agenda that prioritizes the interests of family farmers and ranchers over the interests of multi-national traders. The current trade agenda is not working and we need to look for new ways to negotiate trade agreements."

U.S. and Korea Sign FTA -- The United States and Korea signed the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement on June 30. U.S. Trade Ambassador Sue Schwab said, "The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the most commercially significant free trade agreement the United States has concluded in nearly 20 years." Under the agreement nearly $1.91 billion, or 64% of U.S. agricultural exports to Korea, will be immediately duty-free. Most remaining tariffs and quotas will be phased out over the first 10 years the agreement is in force. This agreement will face a difficult time in Congress.

Pork & Korean FTA -- The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) indicates that U.S. pork exports to South Korea will double under the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement (FTA). NPPC estimates the FTA will increase pork exports by $825 million and will "absorb" 5% of the total U.S. pork production. The FTA will eliminate tariffs on all frozen and process pork products by 2014. Fresh chilled pork will be duty free 10 years after implementation. Current tariffs are as high as 30%.

U.S. and Panama Sign FTA -- The United States and Panama signed the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement last week. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the agreement will increase U.S. agriculture trade by $195 million per year after full implementation. AFBF said, "While the United States already supplies 53% of Panamanian agricultural imports, the agreement will prevent other countries, specifically other Latin American suppliers, from taking some of the current U.S. share of the market in Panama. Under the agreement, Panama also agrees to deal with sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and other non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports. Congress is expected to consider the agreement later this year.

Congressional Recess -- Congress is in recess this week in observance of July 4. A number of Senators and Congressmen are meeting with constituents concerning the farm bill. The next Congressional break will be the month of August for the summer recess.

P. Scott Shearer
Vice President
Bockorny Group
Washington, D.C.



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