Industry Here to Stay
Is there anything about this hog industry that is
positive? That’s a question I keep hearing and, from an economic
standpoint, it is a difficult one to answer. But the truth is that the
U.S. and Canadian pork industries certainly will not disappear. They
are not destined for total destruction and there will be vibrant pork
industries in both countries in the future. I write that with 100%
confidence and there are not very many things that I consider a
Here is why the pork industry survival is assured:
• People will still eat pork. Perhaps not as much as they
would if prices remained lower, but they will still eat pork. Per
capita pork consumption hasn’t changed much in 50 years. That is a
problem when we talk about growing demand, but it’s some consolation
when we contemplate difficult times.
Documenting Three-Year Disease Trends
Influenza continues to make news. Most veterinary
diagnostic laboratories are capable of testing for the novel (human)
H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus, but in Iowa, this test is only performed when a
veterinarian voluntarily participates in the H1N1 surveillance program.
To date, no novel (human) H1N1 cases of flu have been detected in U.S.
Veterinary diagnostic laboratories do, however, conduct tests for the
common swine influenza viruses (SIV) found in pigs. Data from the Iowa
State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory suggest the frequency of
diagnosis of flu in pigs in 2009 pretty well tracks with the two
previous years. (Figure 1).
In contrast, the frequency of diagnosis of the porcine reproductive and
respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from tissues appears to have
contra-seasonal increase in the first half of 2009 (Figure 2).
Passes Ag Appropriations
The Senate passed the $124 billion fiscal year 2010
agricultural appropriations bill – $23 billion is discretionary
funding, leaving $101 billion in mandatory spending. Key items in the
• Dairy support: $350 million for USDA to purchase additional
dairy surplus items in an effort to raise dairy prices.
• Nutrition/WIC: $86.092 billion, including mandatory funding for
domestic nutrition assistance; WIC is the special supplemental nutrition
program for women, infants and children.
• Child Nutrition: School Lunch and Breakfast programs are
funded at $16.8 billion in mandatory funding.
Safety: Food Safety and Inspection Service is funded at $1.018 billion,
which is $47 million above last year.
• International Food
Aid: Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program are
funded at $1.89 billion – an increase of $564 million.
Research: USDA research agencies will receive $2.8 billion – an
increase of $140 million.
• Animal identification:
USDA’s animal identification (ID) program is funded at $7
Push for Pork Industry Help
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is applauding
the governors of a number of the top pork-producing states for urging
President Obama to take immediate action to help U.S. pork producers
through a nearly two-year-old economic crisis.
In a letter sent to the president Aug. 7, the governors of Colorado,
Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma
and Wisconsin asked the administration to:
--Support an additional $50 million of pork purchases for government
feeding programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) buys pork
for federal food assistance programs; in 2008, it bought nearly $62.6
million in pork products.
Aug. 13, 2009: 50th Annual George A.
Young Swine Health and Management Conference, Marina Inn, South Sioux
City, NE; contact: Sharon Clowser, University of Nebraska-Lincoln by
phone (402) 472-4650, fax (402) 472-3094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 24-28, 2009: ID•INFO EXPO 2009, Kansas City, Mo.
the ID•INFO EXPO 2009 will focus on recent advances in animal
identification technology as there's been significant advances made
these past two years. In addition, we'll explore traceability as it
lines up with food safety, animal health and marketing efforts. With
recent food safety concerns in produce and troubles locating the source
of the produce, more and more consumers are asking "Where did this
come from?" and retailers are actively pursuing solutions to meet
consumer demand. In addition, export markets will continue to increase
demands for traceability. More information is available at www.animalagriculture.org.
Sept. 1, 2009: Carthage Veterinary Service (CVS), Ltd.
19th Annual Swine Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL;
contact: CVS at (217) 357-2811 or visit www.hogvet.com.
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