Better-than-Ever Hog Prices
How good are hog prices? About as good as they have ever
been – regardless of the yardstick you use.
Figure 1 shows the weekly Lean Hogs futures chart through last week.
That final observation of $86.10 – the April contract value at last
Friday’s close – is the third highest ever! Third only to the last
two weeks of the August 2008 contract, which expired right in the middle
of the export-induced price spike that set a record for cutout values
and near-record high hog prices.
Figure 2 shows weekly national negotiated net prices for 2002 through
2010. It is easy to find the 2010 line – it is the bright red one
that is higher than all of the other lines for the time period. In
fact, 2010 weekly prices have been the highest on record for the past
six weeks and were nearly $17/cwt. higher than those of record-setting
During 2004-2008, this price increased by roughly $12/cwt. from April 17
to the “normal” highs in May through August, among which there is no
clear-cut best week. Omitting the 2008 surge would take August out of
that when-is-the-maximum discussion, but there would still be no
clear-cut winner from mid-May through early July. Suffice it to say
that producers will probably like any of the weekly prices they see
during that time span. A “normal” rally would take cash hog prices
very close to $90/cwt.
Leaders Visit No. 1 Export Market
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) team members from
Japan and the United States recently hosted five U.S. pork industry
leaders, providing an inside look at how meat industry professionals and
consumers in Japan view U.S. pork.
During the first week of April, leading Japanese importers, retailers,
consumer bloggers, U.S. processors and U.S. government representatives
met with National Pork Board members, including Tim Bierman, president,
Conley Nelson (Iowa), Henry Moore (North Carolina), former Pork Board
President and current USMEF Vice Chair Danita Rodibaugh, and National
Pork Board CEO Chris Novak,.
The benefits of the visit were mutually beneficial. While the U.S. pork
industry team was afforded a unique chance to see how Pork Checkoff
dollars are invested in some of USMEF’s international marketing
programs, our international partners value the opportunity to meet with
U.S. producers and leaders – the people behind the products they buy,
sell and enjoy.
Report Focuses on Residues in Meat
USDA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), in an
audit report, concluded that the USDA, along with the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
“is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for
harmful residues.” A 1984 memorandum of understanding requires the
three agencies to cooperate on the national residue program to keep
veterinary antibiotics, pesticides, heavy metals and the like out of
commerce. The report indicated, “Together, Food Safety & Inspection
Service (FSIS), FDA and EPA have not established thresholds for many
dangerous substances (e.g. copper, dioxin3), which has resulted in meat
with these substances being distributed in commerce.” The report
makes four key recommendations to the agencies and USDA is accepting and
implementing the recommendations. They are: 1) expand the substances
the agencies test for; 2) improve methodology for sampling hazardous
residues; 3) determine more efficient ways of approving newer methods of
testing for drug residues; and 4) collaborate to set tolerances for
additional residues. The report focused on dairy cows and bob veal.
A Call for Permanent Estate Tax Relief — A coalition of
agricultural organizations is calling on Congress for permanent and
meaningful estate tax relief for farmers and ranchers. In a letter to
the Senate leadership, 28 agricultural organizations state that
“inaction on fixing the looming estate tax challenge would be
disastrous for agriculture.” The groups noted, “We support
permanently raising the exemption to no less than $5 million per person
and reducing the top rate to no more than 35%. It is also imperative
that the exemption be indexed to inflation, provide the spousal
transfers and include the stepped-up basis.” Those signing the letter
included the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Farmland Trust,
American Sheep Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Farm
Credit Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, National
Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association,
National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives,
National Farmers Union, National Grange, National Milk Producers
Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation,
and U.S. Apple Association.
Nutrition Conference Focuses on Livestock Feeding
The 71st annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference Sept. 21-22
at the Holiday Inn in Owatonna, MN, provides feed industry professionals
the opportunity to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine
and equine nutrition.
The conference is sponsored annually by the University of Minnesota’s
Department of Animal Science and University of Minnesota Extension.
Speakers from around the world will discuss the latest concepts in
animal nutrition. Featured topics will include new technology and tools
for nutritionists, plus updates on research at the University of
April 28-29, 2010: Animal Agriculture
Alliance 9th Annual Stakeholders Summit, Westin at the Westin Arlington
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
For more information contact: alan Duttlinger at (765)-463-3594 or
May 16-19, 2010: Alltech's 26th International
Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium,
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It’s Expo time! Thousands of producers and industry
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