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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
October 12, 2009
In this issue:
  Putting the Hog:Corn Ratio in Context
  Drilling Deeper into Sow Performance by Farm Size
  Members Urge USDA to Support the U.S. Pork Industry
  Minnesota Pork Groups Look at PRRS Eradication

Putting the Hog:Corn Ratio in Context
The hog:corn price ratio, almost certainly the longest-standing measure of industry profitability, has been awful for a very, very long time. In fact, it has been below 20 – the historical dividing line between profits and losses for the pork industry – for 158 straight weeks. And there are few, if any, prospects of it returning to that level soon. Even next summer’s $70-plus Lean Hogs futures prices will not do the trick with corn well above $3/bu.

So, is this tried and true tool for measuring economic well-being and, therefore, predicting turning points in the U.S. breeding herd still useful? That’s a pretty good question that really boils down to putting the ratio in a modern context. But before we consider that, let’s “study our history,” as President Harry Truman so famously admonished.


Drilling Deeper into Sow Performance by Farm Size
As we look closer at the impact of farm size on various performance measures, we decided to zero in on total pigs born, pigs born live, pigs weaned and piglet survival percentage broken into stillborns and pre-weaning death loss percentages.

The farms selected for the data set had to be in production for over 3 years and weaning a minimum of 22 pigs/mated female/year during the prescribed time period. There were 397 farms out of 619 (64%) that met these criteria.


Members Urge USDA to Support the U.S. Pork Industry
Twenty-four Senators and 63 Congressmen wrote Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging USDA to take several actions to provide emergency relief to the U.S. pork industry. Actions requested were:

    • “Purchase an additional $100 million, from Section 32 funds, of pork for various federal food programs with a maximum emphasis on purchasing meat from sows with the objective to reduce breeding stock to reduce hog numbers.

    • “Work with appropriate federal agencies to help address swine disease surveillance on farms, related diagnostic and vaccine development, and swine industry support.


Minnesota Pork Groups Look at PRRS Eradication
At a joint meeting recently, the board of directors of the Minnesota Pork Board and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association agreed to consider drafting a resolution for the eradication of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus from the state, according to David Preisler, executive director of the two groups.

The resolution will be considered for passage at the December annual business meeting of the two pork groups, Preisler says. If it passes, it would be forwarded for consideration at National Pork Forum, March 4-6, 2010 in Kansas City, MO.

“Our producers realize in our board discussions that from a long-term competitiveness standpoint, they would certainly like to see what could be done to eradicate the disease,” Preisler adds.


Nov. 5-6, 2009: 17th Annual Swine Disease Conference for Swine Practitioners, Scheman Building, Iowa State University (ISU), Ames, IA; contact ISU by phone (515) 294-6222, fax (515) 294-6223 or e-mail

Nov. 9-11, 2009: Joint International Educational Symposium on Animal Welfare, The Kellogg Hotel; Conference Center, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI; contact:

Nov. 10, 2009: University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program’s Swine Institute, Courtyard by Marriott, Columbia, MO; contact: for registration, Erica Lovercamp at (573) 882-9552 or or for programming, Katrina Turner at (573) 882-0378 or


M2P2, LLC has openings for the following positions at our Heritage Farms East location in Turpin, Oklahoma. Heritage Farms East is a farrow to wean swine operation located in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Farm Manager: This position would be a fulltime Farm Manager position. Previous experience in hog farm operations and management is required. Must be able to speak, read, and write English and Spanish. Must have valid driver’s license and proof of current auto insurance. Please inquire about relocation opportunities.

Salaries will depend on experience. M2P2 offers a benefit package that includes medical, disability, life insurance, 401k, and PTO. Interested candidates should mail your resume and cover letter to M2P2, attn: Tonya Chavira, 109 West Lee Ave. Suite 13, Lamar, CO 81052 or email resume and cover letter to

M2P2, LLC is a progressive pork production company and employer of choice in the industry. Formed in 2003, M2P2 merges expertise in all phases of hog production, from birth to market, into one company. Today M2P2, LLC operates in six states throughout the U.S. and is leading the way in the pork production industry.

M2P2, LLC is an equal opportunity employer.

M2P2, LLC, is accepting applications for the following position:
General Manager: This position will have complete accountability for all swine production related activities in our North Carolina – (10,000 Sows in Production, Associated Isolation – Gilt Development – Staging) location.

Ideal candidates must have the following qualifications:
  • Three to five years of swine management experience preferred.
  • A minimum of a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Proven conflict resolution skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Expected to take an active role in companies all ready established bio-security and safety programs.
  • Prior supervisory experience preferred.
  • This individual will be responsible for focusing efforts on the reduction of costs and increasing throughput.
  • Responsible for developing yearly production output budgets, expenses budget and necessary capital spending budget.
  • Be able to influence change through educating and training at all levels in addition to frequent farm inspections.
Competitive wage and benefit package includes medical, disability, life insurance, 401K, vacation and paid holidays. To apply, contact Tracy at the M2P2 Corporate Office or mail, fax, or email resume to the address below before October 16, 2009.

Tracy Rogers, Human Resources Coordinator
1615 Golden Aspen Drive, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010
Office 515-598-4640 ~ Fax 515-956-3226

M2P2, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other status protected by .law or regulation. It is our intention that all qualified applicants be given equal opportunity and that selection decisions be based on job-related factors.

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.


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.

When two leaders come together, expect great things to happen. One-dose protection from wean to finish. That’s Ingelvac® CircoFLEX-MycoFLEX™. The only circovirus and Mycoplasma vaccines USDA-approved for mixing. The result? A true dose of confidence from two powerful leaders. Call Boehringer Ingelheim at 1-800-325-9167or click here for more information.


This month's focus: Manure Management
Paper Trail Documents Manure Application Practices
Iowa firm helps reinforce that pork producers are managing manure conscientiously.
Adapting to Smaller Margins
The pork industry has entered a new supply-and-demand paradigm, and cost-cutting measures may be needed to survive the current downturn.

Plus: 2009 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards
Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa and North Carolina.

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.


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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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.
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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