Pork Retailers Won’t Help
It is once again “bash-the -retailer” time in the pork
industry. This happens periodically, usually when producers are
particularly disappointed in the way that the market has treated them.
Low hog prices are compared to steadily high retail prices published by
USDA and the conclusion is that the situation just is not fair. Or, as
one producer recently declared: “Something is broken here!!” He
thankfully left out the expletives that his tone of voice told me were
just waiting to burst forth.
First, it is important to understand that the retail price data we work
with is not the best. In fact, it may not be very good at all. Figure
1 shows USDA’s monthly data for retail, wholesale and farm level
prices. Note that all are computed to a retail weight basis so they are
directly comparable and the differences between them constitute a
“spread” or gross margin for the firms operating at that
Heat Adds Urgency to Diagnostics
Hot summer months present some challenges for diagnosing
health problems in pigs. While it’s much more pleasant to perform
postmortem examinations in the daylight with temperatures above
freezing, it’s also more difficult to obtain good quality samples
because of the rapid onset of tissue decomposition.
Most producers are aware of this and have some means of working around
the complications presented by the heat. It’s a worthwhile discussion
to have with your veterinarian, however, if you are in the midst of
working up a particular problem. The chances of coming up with
meaningful diagnostic results declines pretty quickly as the pigs begin
Tackle Climate Change Bill
The climate change debate now moves to the Senate after
the House of Representatives passed its bill 219-212. Senate Majority
leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would like for the Senate to consider a global
climate change bill this fall. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman
of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, plans to have a
bill passed out of her committee before the August recess. There will
be a number of other committees involved with this legislation.
House Climate Change Bill and Agriculture — Congressman Collin
Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, is given
great credit for his efforts to get a number of provisions in the House
passed climate change bill that benefits agriculture. The agriculture
and forestry sectors are exempt from the bill’s greenhouse gas
emission reduction requirements. Farmers, ranchers and forest land
owners will not be subject to the greenhouse gas emissions cap. The
bill establishes an agricultural and forestry offset program at USDA
that will work with producers to design and implement plans that reduce
or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon on their
operations. Owners will earn offsets for these actions and they can
sell the credits to utilities, refiners or other firms, subject to
limitations on greenhouse gas emissions. The bill also addresses
indirect land use. It postpones the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2)
rule provision on indirect land use for five years (three-year study,
two years for determination), plus another one year for implementation
at the conclusion, if needed. The agreement gives the Secretary of
Agriculture veto power over the determination.
Obama Administration Rural Tour — Top officials and cabinet
secretaries in President Obama’s administration will hold a series of
discussions around the country on how communities, states, and the
federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America.
President Obama said, “A healthy American economy depends on a
prosperous rural America. Rural America is vast and diverse, and
different communities face different challenges and opportunities.
That’s why we’re going out to hear directly from the people of rural
America about their needs and concerns and what my administration can do
to support them.” The first of the rural tour sessions was held on
July 1 in Wattsburg, PA; Others will be held on July 16 in La Crosse,
WI; July 18 in Ringgold, VA; July 20 in St. John’s Parish, LA; Aug. 12
in Bethel, AK; Aug. 16 in Zanesville, OH; Aug. 17 in Hamlet, NC; Sept.
28 in Scottsbluff, NE; and, Sept. 30 in Las Cruces, NM.
Heighten Need to Meet Product Withdrawal Guidelines
Pork producers should review their use of feed/water
tetracycline-class antibiotics (tetracycline, oxytetracycline or
chlortetracycline) to ensure their use meets standards required by some
export markets for U.S. pork products, according to the National Pork
All U.S. pork producers must follow animal health product withdrawal
standards that meet U.S. maximum residue limits. These standards were
fixed by the Food and Drug Administration’s scientific-based testing
that ensures the safety of all products entering the food chain.
However, some countries buying U.S. pork products may have withdrawal
requirements that exceed those on the product label.
July 23, 2009: Pork Checkoff strategic
planning meeting, Holiday Inn Convention Center, Omaha, NE; contact: the
National Pork Board at (800) 456-7675 or go to www.pork.org.
July 24, 2009: Pork Checkoff strategic planning
meeting, Indiana Pork Producers office, Indianapolis, IN; contact: the
National Pork Board at (800) 456-7675 or go to www.pork.org.
July 27, 2009: Pork Checkoff strategic planning
meeting, Sampson Community College, Clinton, NC; contact: the National
Pork Board at (800) 456-7675 or go to www.pork.org.
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you’ll take more pork to market. As your Fort Dodge representative or
your animal health supplier about Suvaxyn PCV2.
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