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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
February 16, 2010
 
In this issue:
  Defining Competition in the Hog Industry
  Soybean Producers Unite to Support Pork Exports
  New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability
  CBS Report Failed to Deliver The Real Facts on Antibiotics

MARKET PREVIEW
Defining Competition in the Hog Industry
You are going to be hearing a lot about “competition” in coming months. I mentioned in last week’s column the upcoming series of USDA/DOJ (Department of Justice) workshops that commence in just under a month with a meeting on March 12 in Ankeny, IA, that will address crops, seed and hog/pork topics. Competition or the lack thereof will be a constant storyline this year. A schedule of all workshops can be found at: www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm.

But what is competition? Would we know it if we see it or realize it is missing when it is gone? Low farm prices are not necessarily an indication of a low level of competition, even though they can be. High input prices (or high prices of products made from farm outputs) do not necessarily mean that competition is non-existent or insufficient. Even the presence of large firms does not necessarily mean that competition is absent in the marketplace, though their existence does move us away from a purely or perfectly competitive model toward some market structure where competitive outcomes are still quite possible but are not guaranteed.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK EXPORT PREVIEW
Soybean Producers Unite to Support Pork Exports
Seeing U.S. pork exports dampened by a sluggish global economy, hog prices stuck below breakeven levels and access issues in key markets, soybean producers banded together at the end of 2009 to underwrite an aggressive U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) initiative to bolster pork exports and improve the economic outlook for one of its most valuable customers, the U.S. pork industry.

While the full impact of this “Pork Stimulus Package” will not be known for several months, the early indications are that this joint effort by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC), Nebraska Soybean Board, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and United Soybean Board (USB) will provide a boost for the industry in several key export markets in 2010.

The Minnesota contingent (MSR&PC) got the ball rolling by volunteering to invest an additional $800,000 toward USMEF promotions in Japan and Mexico at the end of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. The Nebraska Soybean Board soon stepped forward with a commitment of $200,000 toward the same Japan/Mexico effort. The Pork Stimulus Package gained further momentum when USB added $250,000 for pork marketing programs in South Korea and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council made an additional investment of $100,000.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability
USDA announced the development of a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States. The department will also undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities. This new approach replaces the voluntary National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from states, tribal nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed. I've decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard." USDA’s new framework will:

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
CBS Report Failed to Deliver The Real Facts on Antibiotics
Despite devoting two segments during the CBS Evening News to the risks of antibiotics in animal agriculture, television anchor Katie Couric’s reports were “rather short on facts and science and long on speculation,” charges Richard Carnevale, DVM, vice president of Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs for the Animal Health Institute (AHI), which represents companies that make animal health products.

Glaringly, the reports portrayed antibiotics used in food-producing animals as unregulated. “In fact, all antibiotics are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), monitored for residues and for bacteria that might end up in the meat. FDA has a very rigorous approval process that all of these products have gone through, and they are all subject to followup surveillance to ensure they are being properly used,” Carnevale adds.

When used by pork producers, under the close supervision of a veterinarian, antibiotics are “strategically placed in a pig’s life when they may be at risk or exposed to disease,” says Liz Wagstrom, DVM, assistant vice president of Science and Technology for the National Pork Board.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
Feb. 17, 2010: National Swine Nutrition Guide distributed and explained in Kansas City, Missouri. 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 $125.

Feb. 24, 2010: National Swine Nutrition Guide distributed and explained in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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 $125.



March 4-6, 2010: Pork Forum, Kansas City, MO; contact: www.pork.org.



FULL ARTICLE
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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.

 BLUEPRINT

BIOSECURITY SOLUTIONS
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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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.

 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

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

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 POSTERS

FREE SELECTION GUIDES AND MANAGEMENT POSTERS
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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