Hog Pricing Categories
On March 12, the USDA and the Department of Justice will
launch a series of “Competition Workshops” in Ankeny, IA. The focus
of the first workshop will be crops and seed, but the session will also
include hogs and pork. The hogs and pork segment will also be included
in a livestock workshop planned for August in Fort Collins, CO. A
schedule of all workshops can be found at: www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm.
One topic that will almost surely be addressed in the hog/pork workshops
will be the changing mix of pricing mechanisms for barrows and gilts.
Figure 1 shows the percentage of total weekly barrow and gilt sales
accounted for by the four different pricing mechanisms, as well as
packer-owned and packer-sold pigs.
The pricing categories were defined in the Livestock Mandatory Reporting
Act of 1999, and the rules that USDA promulgated to enforce that act.
As they stand now, the categories include the following:
Born Edges Upward, but Piglet Survival Continues to Decline
Piglet survival is defined as 100% minus the percent
stillborns minus the percent preweaning death loss. Mummies are not
counted in the total born, but fully formed stillborn pigs are counted.
We created this “piglet survival” calculation at Swine Management
Services (SMS) four years ago to eliminate the games that are played
with how stillborns are counted.
To improve preweaning death loss by 4% and hit the bonus targets set by
the farm management, farm employees need only raise the number of pigs
counted as “stillborns” by just half of a pig per female farrowed.
It is surprising how many people do not know the true definition of a
stillborn or how to test whether a pig was truly stillborn vs. dying
after birth. A postmortem confirmation of stillbirths is easily done by
removing the piglet’s lungs and immersing them in water. If the lung
sinks, the pig had not taken a breath and therefore may be classified as
stillborn. If the lung floats, the pig was not stillborn. Once this is
pointed out to employees, many will realize that it was a live born pig
and a potential bonus pig at weaning time.
Administration Proposes $3.8 Trillion Budget
The Obama administration is proposing a $3.8 trillion
budget for fiscal year 2011. The new budget goals are to combat high
unemployment and assist the middle class, according to the
administration. The proposed budget would spend nearly $100 billion on
a jobs bill that would include tax cuts for small businesses, social
safety-net programs and aid to state and local governments. The budget
would impose new fees on some of the nation’s largest banks and permit
various tax cuts to expire for families earning more than $250,000 a
year. The deficit for this budget is estimated at $1.267 trillion, down
from the FY 2010 deficit of $1.556 trillion.
USDA Proposes Increases for Nutrition, Research and Food Safety
— USDA’s proposed FY 2011 budget of $149 billion provides $123
billion in mandatory spending (farm programs, nutrition, etc.) and $26
billion in discretionary spending, which is approximately $1 billion
less than last year. A large portion of the budget is for nutrition
programs, as a result of the increased demand for National School Lunch
Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or formerly
Food Stamp Program) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The
administration is proposing $50 million for a new “Healthy Food
Financing Initiative” to bring grocery stores and other healthy food
retailers to underserved communities. The budget calls for $429 million
for competitive research grants through the Agriculture and Food
Research Initiative and $1.046 billion for Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS). Other items in the budget include:
Pork Exports Add to U.S. Jobs
As U.S. pork exports climb, pork production increases and
so do pork prices, which in turn creates jobs, according to a recent
analysis conducted by Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
For every additional 1% of U.S. pork production exported, $3 is added to
the price producers receive per hog, and those higher prices eventually
stimulate more pork production.
For each 1% increase in pork production, 920 direct pork industry jobs
are generated and 4,575 total jobs are created.
Feb. 10, 2010: Missouri Pork Expo,
Holiday Inn Select Executive Center, Columbia, MO; contact:
(573) 445-8531 or www.mopork.com.
Feb. 11, 2010: National Swine Nutrition Guide
Training Conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC - Details
Feb. 11, 2010: National Swine Nutrition Guide
distributed and explained in Raleigh, N.C. The guide consists of
nutrition fact sheets, nutrient recommendation tables and diet
formulation and evaluation software and will be included with an $80
conference registration or available for purchase separately for
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NPPC and the National Pork Board have launched a program, We
Care, to promote pork producers' commitment to responsible pork
production. From animal care and the environment to food safety and
quality, pork producers demonstrate best practices daily.
For more on continuing the tradition of doing what’s right,