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March 1, 2010
In this issue:
  Counter-Seasonal Decline is Good News for Pork
  Postweaning Syndrome is a Diagnostic Conundrum
  Competition Workshop Panels Named
  EPA May Require Farms To Report Gas Emissions

Counter-Seasonal Decline is Good News for Pork
USDA’s Cold Storage report, released last week, continues to indicate that supplies are at least “current” at present. The cold storage data appear in Table 1.

Total meat and poultry in freezers amounted to 1.86 billion pounds on Jan. 31. That was 3.5% higher than one month earlier, but 17.1% lower than one year ago. All four of the major species contributed to the decline with turkey leading the way in both pounds (169 million) and percentage (-37.5%). Pork was second in both categories, trimming total freezer stocks by 111.3 million pounds and 18.3% vs. one year ago. Chicken stocks continued to fall as well, declining 10% or 69.1 million pounds from January 31, 2009.

USDA estimates that there were 495.6 million pounds of pork in freezers on Jan. 31. That is 5.2% more pork than one month earlier and it represents the first month-to-month increase in pork inventories since last April. That is a very unusual circumstance, since pork stocks usually begin growing in September and swell in the fall of the year when hog numbers are high. The counter-seasonal decline in stocks last fall leaves supplies quite current as we go into spring and expected lower slaughter runs. That factor should be supportive of pork and hog prices.


Postweaning Syndrome is a Diagnostic Conundrum
In the last couple of years, there have been reports at veterinary meetings that describe variations on an overall theme of a low incidence of wasting and mortality in pigs postweaning.

Typically, weaned pigs arrive healthy and appear to get off to a good start. Within a few days, however, some pigs go off feed, lose weight rapidly and die within one or two weeks of the onset of clinical signs. Clinical enteric (diarrhea) or respiratory (cough, sneeze, “thumping”) signs are often minimal or absent, but pigs are observed with some combination of the following clinical signs: lethargy, inappetance, huddling and piling, head hanging or pressing, generalized or rear leg weakness, rapid weight loss and non-response to treatment prior to death or euthanasia.


Competition Workshop Panels Named
The panelists and agenda have been established for the first in a series of five workshops on competition and regulatory issues that the U.S. Department of Justice and USDA are holding. The goals of the workshops are to “promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues, as well as to listen to and learn from parties with experience in the agriculture sector.” The agenda for the first workshop, set for March 12 in Ankeny, IA, includes:

Keynote Comments, Roundtable and Presentation of Issues: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, U.S. Department of Justice; Tom Miller, Attorney General, State of Iowa; Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Invited: Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA), and Iowa Governor Chet Culver.

Seed Competitive Dynamics Panel: James MacDonald (moderator), Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic
Research Service, USDA. Panelists: Ray Gaesser, Corning, IA, Soybean and Corn producer, vice president of the American Soybean Association and former president of the Iowa Soybean Association; Neil E. Harl, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, emeritus professor of economics, Iowa State University, and member of the Iowa Bar; Dermot Hayes, professor of economics and finance, Pioneer chair in agribusiness, Iowa, State University; Diana Moss, vice president and senior fellow, American Antitrust Institute; and Jim Tobin, vice president of industry affairs, Monsanto Company.


EPA May Require Farms To Report Gas Emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Friday it is considering requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to report releases of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The agency says that H2S is harmful to human health and the environment and must be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

This reporting requirement could produce stricter rules on releases of H2S under the Clean Air Act, including a mandate that agricultural facilities adopt new emissions mitigation technologies.


March 4-6, 2010: Pork Forum, Kansas City, MO; contact:

March 5, 2010: National Swine Nutrition Guide distributed and explained in Sioux City, Iowa. 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 8: 2010: “Let’s Talk Animals,” 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; contact:

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 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.

NPPC conducts public-policy outreach on behalf of its 43 state associations, enhancing opportunities for the success of U.S. pork producers and stakeholders by establishing the pork industry as a consistent and responsible supplier of high-quality pork to domestic and world markets. Click here to learn more and support your industry.


This Month's Focus: Feeding
Gilt Development Program Improves Sow Performance
Early attention to gilt development pays dividends. To ensure that a sow becomes a productive member of the breeding herd requires close attention
Pork Industry Seeks Answers About Fat Quality
Pork producers and packers are concerned about carcass fat quality, but definitive guidelines remain elusive
Effects of Energy Intake on Gilt Development
Performance of energy-restricted and ad libitum-fed gilts were tracked through four parities

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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.

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