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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
September 21, 2009
In this issue:
  Weather Jitters Reinforce 2009 Crop Vulnerability
  My Blackberry – I Love It, I Hate It
  Livestock Disaster Assistance Program
  Action Plan Developed for H1N1 Influenza

Weather Jitters Reinforce 2009 Crop Vulnerability
All eyes are on northern skies this week as everyone involved in the production and use of corn and soybeans watches the weather. A forecast for frost in the northern plains the weekend of Sept. 26-27 lit a fire under both corn and soybean futures markets earlier last week, underscoring the precarious position of this year’s late-maturing crops. Most analysts believe we need at least two more frost-free weeks in Iowa to realize the yields being predicted by USDA.

The potential for lower yields is high this year, but the normal changes of actual vs. predicted yields are just the opposite. Robert Wisner, professor emeritus at Iowa State University, has compiled the long track record of USDA’s September yield forecasts vs. final yield estimates the following January for corn and soybeans. The results of his comparisons appear in Figures 1 and 2.

Final corn yields have been higher than the September estimate in 31 (71%) of the 44 years shown in Figure 1. The difference has been more than 5% in nine (over 20%) of those 44 years. The average change in yield for all years except those with major weather stress has been 2.3%. That would translate to an increase of 3.7 bu./acre this year, nearly 300 million more bushels of corn, if frost does not nip those yields.

Final soybean yield estimates also tend to increase from the September forecast, but the magnitude and frequency of those increases are smaller than those for corn. USDA’s soybean yield increased in only 56% of the past 44 years and the increase was, on average, only 1.8% in those years that did not face significant weather challenges. Such an increase this year would add only about 0.75 bu./acre and increase soybean supplies by about 58 million bushels. That doesn’t sound like much, but in a year projected to be as tight as this, it could certainly make a difference for soybean and soybean meal prices.


My Blackberry – I Love It, I Hate It
I have had a Blackberry for about two years and have a love-hate relationship with it.

I love having it to glance at and to answer emails; it saves me a lot of time when I am on the road and allows me to stay caught up with messages. I also have the internet feature that I use to look at the markets and see what is happening on the Chicago Board of Trade with grain and hog futures. It keeps me up-to-date and apprised of the markets.

The hate relationship part of this is that I never seem to be able to escape information because it is coming at me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is so much information that there are times I would like to be on a deserted island to get away from it for a while.

The reason I am bringing this is up is I was looking at the markets this morning (Sept. 15) and the grain markets were called slightly higher and hogs were called 25-50 cents higher. I went to a meeting for three hours and when I checked the markets again, corn was up 25 cents/bu., soybean meal was up $17/ton, and hogs were up almost $2/cwt. for each month on the board. This all occurred before 11:00 a.m. I shook my head in disbelief – and I’m not even a producer.


Livestock Disaster Assistance Program
USDA announced that producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, including losses due to blizzards and wildfires. LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock grazing losses due to qualifying drought or fire. Eligible livestock under LFP include beef cattle, alpacas, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep and swine. For both programs, producers must have suffered losses that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. For more information on these programs, producers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office or go to the web site:

Natural Claims for Meat and Poultry — USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the use of the voluntary claim “natural” in the labeling of meat and poultry products. FSIS is seeking comments to assist the agency in defining the conditions under which it will permit the voluntary claim “natural” to be used in labeling of meat and poultry products. FSIS is interested in comments concerning sodium lactate and other multifunctional ingredients, “non-traditional” food processing methods, “enhanced” products, natural and naturally raised, carbon monoxide, and economic effects. Public comments are due by Nov. 13, 2009.


Action Plan Developed for H1N1 Influenza
State and federal animal health officials and pork producers have collaborated to produce an on-farm plan to keep the pork industry operating as normal in the event a U.S. pig herd is suspected or confirmed as being infected with the novel H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus.

The plan covers surveillance and actions recommended when the novel H1N1 virus is confirmed. State animal health officials remain the primary source of reliable information for the H1N1 virus and will be instrumental in the plan’s successful implementation.

Under this plan, the herd veterinarian will work with the state animal health official and the pork producer to monitor animals for illness.


Oct. 8-14, 2009: U.S. Animal Health Association Annual Meeting, Town and Country Hotel, San Diego, CA; contact for more information.

Oct. 6-7, 2009: The Center for Food Integrity’s 2009 Food System Summit, Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel, Kansas City, MO; contact Jim Fallon at (816) 556-3129 or visit

Oct. 27-29, 2009: Meat Industry Research Conference. McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. This will take place in conjunction with the Worldwide Food Expo. Contact AMSA member services at 800-517-2672 or
Web Site: Past Proceedings Web Site:

Ileitis immunity is as easy as turning on the water. Enterisol Ileitis protects your pigs with long-lasting immunity. It’s there when you need it and it takes the guesswork out of ileitis control. Now that’s what we call a liquid asset. Call Boehringer Ingelheim at 1-800-325-9167.Click here for more information.


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.

Suvaxyn® PCV2 is proven to be a safe and efficacious way to control circovirus. And it controls viremia, too. Suvaxyn PCV2 also provides what no other circovirus vaccine can: the option of one- or two-dose regimen to meet the needs of your operation. Either way, you’ll take more pork to market. Ask your Fort Dodge representative or your animal health supplier about Suvaxyn PCV2.Click here for more information.


This month's focus: Pig Care & Handling
Euthanasia: Making a Tough Call a Little Easier
Always unpleasant, but undeniably necessary, the task of compassionate euthanasia must be addressed.
Walk the Pens Advance Pig Handling, Welfare
Proper care at the start eases pig movement at marketing time.
Keep'em Moving
University of Illinois research reveals hauling shortcomings.

Denagard® 10 gets pigs off to a fast start and keeps them healthy through the stresses of post-weaning, nursery and movement into the grow-finish unit, so they perform closer to their full potential. If you’re looking to achieve and maintain healthier pigs, call Novartis Animal Health at 1-800-843-3386 or visit today.


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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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.
Ileitis immunity is as easy as turning on the water. Enterisol Ileitis protects your pigs with long-lasting immunity. It’s there when you need it and it takes the guesswork out of ileitis control. Now that’s what we call a liquid asset. Call Boehringer Ingelheim at 1-800-325-9167. Click here for more information.

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