>> Mobile Version    >> Web Version    >> Add to Safe Sender List From the editors of National Hog Farmer Magazine
National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
August 17, 2009
 
In this issue:
  Not a Banner Year for Packers Either
  Three Main Variables to Improve Farrowing Rate
  Concentration Does Not Adversely Affect Food Prices
  South Korea Eases Restrictions On U.S. Hogs and Pork Imports

MARKET PREVIEW
Not a Banner Year for Packers Either
The situation with pork packing margins has been somewhat of a mystery this year. There is always mystery regarding the actual level of packers’ profit margins since they are quite understandably reluctant to publicize those numbers beyond what is required of the publicly traded companies, such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods and Hormel Foods.

I think it is safe to say that most pork producers feel the same way about their financial performance data. But we do have enough data to estimate pork packers’ gross margins (i.e. the margins that they achieve above the amount they pay for hogs) by comparing the pork cutout value to the cost of hogs and then adding in an estimate of by-product revenue. Figure 1 shows these estimates for 2008 and 2009, year-to-date, as well as the five-year average.

FULL ARTICLE

PRODUCTION PREVIEW
Three Main Variables to Improve Farrowing Rate
Improving farrowing rate has economic value to your sow farm. Improving farrowing rate by 4% will increase pigs/sow/year by approximately 1.35 and reduce the breakeven by approximately $1.75/weaned pig. That 4% would also allow you to reduce sow inventory by approximately 5% while producing the same number of pigs and reducing the breakeven by approximately $0.25/ weaned pig.

Swine Management Services’ Fertility Triangle (Figure 1) shows the three variables in breeding: female (sow/gilt), boar semen (quality), and person (Artificial Insemination Technician). We have discussed these key factors in previous Weekly Preview columns. We feel it would be good to summarize the key performance measures and standard operating procedures (SOP) into one document. The following should be part of your farm’s SOP manual:

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Concentration Does Not Adversely Affect Food Prices
In a new report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that concentration in the processing segment of the beef, pork, or dairy sectors or the retail sector, overall, has not adversely affected commodity or food prices. The study looked at trends in agricultural concentration, trends in retail food expenditures and prices, trends in prices farmers receive, and the effects of concentration on commodity and food prices. The report also found:

    • Concentration generally has increased at all levels of the food marketing chain in all agricultural sectors since the 1980s. At the farm level, less than 2% of farms accounted for 50% of total sales in 2007. At the food processors’ level, in general, a small number of companies accounted for a large and growing portion of sales in 2007. The market share of the largest four hog slaughtering firms increased from 36% in 1982 to 63% in 2007. The share of grocery store sales held by the largest four firms more than doubled, from 16% in 1982 to 36% in 2005.

    FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
South Korea Eases Restrictions On U.S. Hogs and Pork Imports
The Republic of Korea has decided to only inspect a sample of U.S. pork exports, rather than 100% of them, and to lift a ban on U.S. live hog imports. The restrictions were imposed following the H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus.

“South Korea’s decision is good news for U.S. pork producers,” says National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Don Butler. “NPPC has been working closely with U.S. and foreign government officials to terminate all remaining H1N1 restrictions on U.S. hog and pork exports. Korea is a top market for U.S. pork exports and an important destination for swine breeding stock. Our producers are enduring very difficult financial times, and the removal of these restrictions by Korea is appreciated.”

U.S. pork producers have lost nearly $4.5 billion or more than $21/hog marketed since September 2007 – resulting from high production costs mainly due to feedgrain prices and restrictions on U.S. pork and hog exports fueled by fears of the novel H1N1 virus.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
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.

Sept. 10, 2009: Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference, Indiana Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis, IN; contact: Tip Cline at Purdue University at tcline@purdue.edu or visit www.swinenutritionconference.com.

Sept. 15-16, 2009: 70th University of Minnesota Nutrition Conference, Holiday Inn, Owatonna, MN; contact: http://www.ansci.umn.edu/mnc.html.


FULL ARTICLE
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 BLUEPRINT

MORE EFFICIENT USE OF FEED
The volatility of feed prices in recent years has heightened producers' awareness of the need for continual improvement in the efficiency of feed use. Click here for the complete Blueprint archive.

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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

This month's focus: World Pork Expo New Product Tour
2009 World Pork Expo New Product Tour
Challenging economic times were reflected in the type of products introduced to the pork industry at the 21st annual World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA.
Trials Study Divergent Sow Feeding Systems
Research goal is to provide pen gestation options for the future.
H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus Raises Questions
Iowa State researcher answers questions about the virus.

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 POSTERS

FREE SELECTION GUIDES AND MANAGEMENT POSTERS
National Hog Farmer offers 10 posters targeting key production areas, offering guidance in critical areas such as feet and leg soundness and reproduction traits soundness in replacement gilts. Others include pig anatomy, heat detection, sow condition, etc. All posters are in English. Select posters are translated to Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.

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FOR ROBUST RESULTS, GO TO THE SOURCE.
Our breeding technology is delivering what your operation demands, high production results across a wide range of environmental conditions. Count on the industry leader. Go to the trusted source. Click here for more information.

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