Risk in an Unpredictable Global Pork Market
For all of you feeling particularly giddy after last
week’s markets, allow me to mention one thing to keep you grounded:
H1N1. I mention it because there have been several outbreaks in the
Southeast recently. And, it serves as an example of what can go wrong
just when things are looking jolly good. Reality checks are part of the
job. There is a good reason economics is called the dismal science.
What if H1N1 or foot-and-mouth disease or classical swine fever or any
other swine disease that Russian or Chinese buyers could cite as a
reason to stop imports of U.S. pork occurred? How would that affect the
improvement in potential profitability that we saw last week as Chicago
Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Lean Hogs contracts rallied to contract
life highs, corn futures fell to six-month lows and soybean meal futures
Investigating Mysterious Sudden Deaths in Finishers
Determining the cause of a growing number of cases
involving sudden deaths in finishing pigs can be a daunting task because
the pigs commonly show no outward signs of disease. Investigation into
these sudden deaths requires four steps:
Step #1: Very careful observation of the pigs, looking for subtle
symptoms or clinical signs that are not readily apparent. This process
may call for visiting the barn, sometimes at odd hours, or simply
sitting on a bucket for an hour watching and listening to pigs. Don’t
underestimate the value of objective observation.
Step #2: Perform necropsies of affected pigs to assess whether
there are specific lesions which might identify a likely cause for pigs
to suddenly die. Often a complete set of tissues or blood work is
submitted to a diagnostic lab. But the gross lesions observed on
necropsy of a dead pig can be misleading and confusing, depending on how
long it has been dead. For instance, congested lungs that don’t
collapse, reddened intestines, or pale muscles are commonly observed in
any dead pig.
Step #3: Collection of complete and accurate information to
support observations (listed below) is an important step. Focus on
information that appears relevant to the problem. Keep an open mind as
to which information could be biased or misleading.
Price Reporting Analysis Released
USDA has released its Wholesale Pork Price Reporting
Analysis as required by the 2008 farm bill. USDA was directed to
conduct a study on the effects of requiring packer processing plants to
report information on wholesale pork cuts, including price and volume.
The scope of the study included:
1) Identifying problems with current pork price reporting;
2) Determining how changes in pork processing and trade are affecting
pork price reporting;
3) Assessing the extent that mandatory price reporting would reduce
pork price reporting problems; and
4) Identifying potential benefits and costs of moving to a mandated
pork price reporting system.
Signs Ohio Livestock Care Bill
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has signed House Bill 414 into
effect, creating the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board and providing
the terms of office for board members. The board will be responsible for
developing animal care and well-being standards through regulation of
Gov. Strickland along with the president of the Senate and the speaker
of the House will name appointees to the 13-member board. The board will
be comprised of the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a
food safety expert, three family farmers, two members who represent
statewide farm organizations, a licensed Ohio veterinarian, the state
veterinarian, a dean of agriculture from an Ohio college or university,
two Ohio consumers and a county humane society representative. Board
appointees are expected to be selected by mid-April.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts on behalf of both the Ohio House of
Representatives and Ohio Senate, in addition to Gov. Strickland, to
enact this legislation,” says Dick Isler, executive vice president of
the Ohio Pork Producers Council. “Our hog farmers appreciate the
opportunity to have livestock regulations for Ohioans stay in our
April 28-29, 2010: Animal Agriculture
Alliance 9th Annual Stakeholders Summit, Westin at the Westin Arlington
Arlington, VA; For more information contact: www.animalagalliance.org (703) 562-5160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 30-May 2, 2010: GO 'WALKING IN MEMPHIS' AT THE
NJSA NATIONAL YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Memphis, Tenn; For more information contact: alan Duttlinger at
(765)-463-3594 or email@example.com.
May 16-19, 2010: Alltech's 26th International
Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium,
Lexington, KY; For more information contact: www.alltech.com.
It’s Expo time! Thousands of producers and industry
professionals from all over the world will be in attendance. Don’t
miss three jam-packed days of learning, networking and training plus
discover the latest trends, products and innovations. And, don’t
forget the fun — click
here for all the details!
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