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February 1, 2010
In this issue:
  Revisiting the December Pig Crop Report
  Six Agents Dominate Postweaning Diarrhea
  Animal Protection Liaison Opposed
  USDA Appoints Pork Delegate Body for 2010

Revisiting the December Pig Crop Report
At what point do we punt the December Hogs and Pigs Report? That is the question that is weighing on the minds of both market analysts and producers as hog slaughter numbers remain far below expected levels and weights show no signs of “backed up” hogs. I realize there are performance issues, so let’s discuss the report, what it suggested for this spring, and the forces that could be driving numbers in various directions.

First, let’s address the December report. You might recall, it was a bit bearish in that virtually every inventory category except “kept for breeding” was slightly larger than was expected by industry analysts. Analysts certainly are not always correct in their pre-report estimates, but they do give us an idea of what the market is trading going into the release of a key report. And, “actual vs. expectation” is a key issue in short term moves in the futures market.


Six Agents Dominate Postweaning Diarrhea
The most common infectious agents with potential to cause post-weaning diarrhea includes:
Rotavirus: This virus affects pigs from 3 days to 12 weeks of age.
E. coli: This bacteria has many variants and affects pigs as diarrhea or edema disease from birth to 16 weeks of age.
Coccidia (Isospora): This parasite includes signs and lesions that are seen in pigs from 4 days to 4 weeks of age.
Coccidia (Eimeria): This parasite is a dose- and hygiene-related, sporadic disease that occurs in pigs from 3 weeks of age to maturity.
Salmonella: This bacteria affects pigs of any age and is usually associated with inadequate hygiene or concurrent disease.
Lawsonia: This bacteria affects pigs from 4 weeks of age to maturity.

Less common infectious agents include:
Brachyspira: There are various species of this bacteria that are associated with colitis of variable severity.
Whipworm (Trichuris): This parasite can occur in pigs over 3 weeks of age and is still a threat.
Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE): This virus occurs in pigs at 3 days of age to maturity and is still a threat (discussion to follow).


Animal Protection Liaison Opposed
Members of the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition wrote President Barack Obama urging him to not appoint a White House animal protection liaison as advocated by the animal rights movement. The coalition said, “To politicize the care and compassion we routinely demonstrate with our animals implies our science and producer experience-based programs to enhance animal care, along with state anti-cruelty programs and the more than half dozen federal agencies charged with overseeing animal care and handling, are not working.” Those signing the letter were: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Livestock Marketing Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Renderers Association and United Egg Producers.

Producers Support Resolution to Stop GHG Regulations — Nearly 140 agricultural organizations are supporting Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding, which would block EPA from moving forward with regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In a letter to Senator Murkowski, the groups stated, “Without an effective international agreement on emission reductions, unilateral action by the United States only serves to further damage our economy and encourage businesses to relocate. EPA’s finding puts the agricultural economy at grave risk based on allegations of a weak, indirect link to public health and welfare and despite the lack of any environmental benefit.” Those signing the letter included American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Milk Producers Association, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation.


USDA Appoints Pork Delegate Body for 2010
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment of 154 pork producers and six importers to the 2010 National Pork Producers Delegate Body. All of the appointees will serve a one-year term. Appointments were based on nominations received from state pork producer associations and importer groups.

Appointed members by state include:
Alabama: Luther Bishop, Joseph C. Hall;
Alaska: Patricia R. Worrell, Richard C. Worrell;
Arizona: Elizabeth J. Beck, Michael D. Terrill;
Arkansas: Steve C. Stephan, K. Brad Vines;
Colorado: Brett B. Rutledge, Keith A. Siemsen;
Delaware: Henry C. Johnson, IV, John B. Tigner Jr.;
Florida: Ricky Lyons;
Georgia: Glenn Derochers, Dania S. DeVane;
Hawaii: Wayne I. Simokawa, Evelyn A. Telles;
Idaho: Thomas A. Goodwin, Bradley K. Thornton;


Feb. 2, 2010: Swine Profitability Conference, Forum Hall, Student Union, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; contact:

Feb. 2-3, 2010: Illinois Pork Expo, Hotel Pere Marquette and Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL; contact:

Feb. 4-5, 2010: North Carolina Pork Congress, North Carolina State Fairgrounds and Marriott Crabtree Valley, Raleigh, NC; contact: Ann Edmonson at (919) 781-0361 or or go to

U.S. pork producers must be able to compete in foreign markets without restrictive tariffs or sanitary barriers to trade. NPPC’s mission of gaining and expanding access to markets through free trade agreements is paramount to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry — Click here to learn more.


The news reports announcing the discovery of the H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus on April 24, 2009 increased the urgency for proper biosecurity measures in hog operations. Producers continually face the challenge of managing the biosecurity of pigs, people, packages and pests as they redouble efforts to stave off costly swine diseases and retain their access to pork markets in this age of economic uncertainty. Click here for the complete Blueprint archive.

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This Month's Focus: Making Solid Business Decisions
Later Weaning Bumps Sow Herd and Pig Performance
Increasing weaning age while reducing breeding herd inventory may help cut losses.
Sensitivity Analysis Projects Impact of Economic Variables on Pork Production Systems
Assessment tool helps prioritize investment and management plans. Sensitivity analysis in the context of this article does not refer to a personality.
Start Pigs Right to Boost Market Value
Iowa swine veterinarian’s program targets 95% full-value pigs. The path to top-notch postweaning pig growth performance begins in the breeding-gestation

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.


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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U.S. pork producers must be able to compete in foreign markets without restrictive tariffs or sanitary barriers to trade. NPPC’s mission of gaining and expanding access to markets through free trade agreements is paramount to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry — click here. to learn more.

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