Market Fundamentals Taking Hold
First an errata—U.S. sow slaughter plants can handle
roughly 100,000 head/week—not “per day” as I wrote last week.
That rate assumes five-day operations at all plants. A couple of
industry insiders pointed out that some sow plants do not slaughter five
days a week and that, therefore, a realistic sow slaughter capacity is
80,000 to 85,000 “per week,” which is still well above current
USDA announced last week that it would purchase $30 million worth of
pork products for public feeding programs, well short of the $50 million
purchase that had been requested by the National Pork Producers Council
(NPPC). USDA cited federal budget constraints.
There has been no response to NPPC’s request for the release of
Section 32 moneys to fund further pork purchases. Congress imposed an
annual limitation on Section 32 expenditures in the last round of budget
negotiations, since the limits drove a lower budget impact score from
the Office of Management and Budget. Low prices for everything from
milk to fruits this year have driven Section 32 expenditures to their
Dysentery Remains a Minor Threat
Many of us tend to speak of swine dysentery in the past
tense, since efforts to eliminate the disease from herds were very
successful several years ago. However, we continue to find the causative
agent, Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, in a small number of cases of
finishing pig enteric disease submitted to the University of Minnesota
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL).
Several diagnostic tools have been available for determining whether
Brachyspira hyodysenteriae is present, including culture, dark field
microscopic examination and immunohistochemistry. Additionally,
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can be used for detection and
identification of Brachyspira sp. bacteria.
Culturing Brachyspira sp. from colon samples of pigs is a sensitive
diagnostic tool. Limitations of culture are that it can take from
several days to a couple of weeks to complete, and it is not possible to
determine which species of Brachyspira sp. is present by culture alone.
Culture tends to be the most sensitive test for detecting Brachyspira
sp. in fecal samples, however.
Buy More Pork
The Department of Agriculture announced its intention to
purchase an additional $30 million in pork products for federal food and
nutrition assistance programs in fiscal year 2009. Secretary of
Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “These purchases will assist producers
who are currently struggling due to depressed market conditions and
reflects the Obama administration’s ongoing work to support struggling
producers. This action will help mitigate further downward prices,
stabilize market conditions, stimulate the economy and provide high
quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA’s nutrition
programs.” Altogether, USDA has purchased approximately $151 million
in pork products for food and nutrition assistance programs this year.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has been urging USDA to make
additional purchases to assist pork producers during these tough
economic times in the pork industry.
COOL for Fuel — Growth Energy is calling for country-of-origin
labeling (COOL) on gasoline. Retired General Wesley Clark, co-chairman
of Growth Energy, said, “The American people deserve to know more
about the gasoline they purchase every day, where it comes from and
where their hard-earned dollars ultimately go every time they fill up
their cars and trucks. The neighborhood filling station doesn’t pump
neighborhood gas, it pumps a product of foreign origin that costs
consumers and taxpayers billions of dollars every year.” In a
statement, Growth Energy said, “In light of today’s global economy,
coupled with our national security, energy independence and the economic
implications of our fuel supply, we deserve to have more information and
greater market transparency about the sources of our fuel.”
Plan Put in Place For H1N1 in U.S. Herds
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV),
the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council have
been working diligently with state animal health officials (SAHO) and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a response plan should the
novel H1N1 flu strain be suspected or confirmed in a U.S. swine herd.
It was ultimately decided that the current working relationship between
producers, veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials
would be adequate to address any suspected introduction of the H1N1 Flu
Outbreak Virus. The SAHO will be the lead organization determining local
activities as outlined in the response plan, according to a report from
Sept. 10, 2009: Midwest Swine Nutrition
Conference, Indiana Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis, IN; contact: Tip
Cline at Purdue University at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Sept. 19-22, 2009: Allen D. Leman Swine Conference,
RiverCentre Conference Facility, St. Paul, MN; contact: www.cvm.umn.edu/outreach.
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