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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
April 26, 2010
 
In this issue:
  The Case of the Vanishing Pigs
  Most See Profits – Finally
  First Steps Taken Toward 2012 Farm Bill
  Producers Remain Positive About Role of Pork Checkoff
  EXCELLENT CAREER OPPORTUNITY!

MARKET PREVIEW
The Case of the Vanishing Pigs
Where have all the pigs gone? Or better yet, were those pigs ever really here? Those are the questions circulating through the industry the past few weeks as federally inspected (FI) slaughter totals fell far below the expected levels, then recovered somewhat last week (see Figure 1). It appears to me that there are three possible answers to the questions:

    1. USDA simply overcounted the pigs in the March survey and Hogs & Pigs report. That would be a real surprise since the March 1 inventories were already lower than most analysts expected. Some categories were, in fact, much lower than expected. Could it be that the numbers were still far too high? It’s always possible in a process which involves inferring information for an entire population from a statistical sample. USDA’s statisticians face their greatest challenge in getting the numbers right when the industry is in some sort of transition and 2009-2010 is such a period.

    FULL ARTICLE

FINANCIAL PREVIEW
Most See Profits – Finally
It’s been a long time coming, but the majority of the pork producing units is making money.

The trend started in March and continues into April. Most producers are receiving cash prices over $160/head. With breakevens around $135/head, most producers will average close to $20 profit from an operational standpoint. That is welcome relief for everyone involved in this industry.

In talking to producers, they seem to fall into two camps – one wondering when the other shoe will drop, the other thinking happy days are here again. It’s important to remember that a year ago the industry was being hit with the fallout of H1N1 influenza virus, which had a crippling effect on hog prices for a good part of 2009. Barring any major trade issue or something that would affect demand – export or domestic – I think the pork supply is in good shape with where demand is today.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
First Steps Taken Toward 2012 Farm Bill
The House Agriculture Committee kicked off the 2012 farm bill discussions in a hearing with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “This hearing is the first step in the process of writing the next Farm Bill. A bill this large and that covers so many important issues takes a lot of time and effort to get it right, and I am committed to a process that is open, transparent, and bipartisan,” stated Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), while reminding everyone that there will be no new money for the next farm bill. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified that the administration will work with the committee in developing the new farm bill, provided it contains a safety net for farmers and provision to help create better off-farm jobs in rural America. This includes broadband internet services, renewable energy and bio-fuels, regional food systems and supply chains, forest restoration and private land conservation, and ecosystem market incentives. Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), ranking member of the committee, reminded the secretary of the importance of production agriculture when writing the new farm bill. The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to begin its farm bill hearings early next year.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Producers Remain Positive About Role of Pork Checkoff
Despite a relatively gloomy view of the industry late last year, pork producers remained positive about the work being done through their Pork Checkoff, according to a random survey of the National Pork Board’s database. The survey was conducted of 550 producers last December.

A number of the questions in the survey have been asked each of the last eight years. When producers were asked if they believe the industry is moving in the right direction, 40% said right direction and 50% said wrong direction. That wrong-direction number is the highest since the 63% of 2003. The highest right-direction number was 64% in 2006. Producers are always asked their position on the Pork Checkoff and it programs. In 2009, support was 77% and opposition was 13%; the 77% support ties the all-time high from 2008.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
April 28-29, 2010: Animal Agriculture Alliance 9th Annual Stakeholders Summit, Westin at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel
Arlington, VA;
For more information contact: www.animalagalliance.org (703) 562-5160 or summit@animalagalliance.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 alan@nationalswine.com.



FULL ARTICLE

EXCELLENT CAREER OPPORTUNITY!
If you like working with animals and wish you worked for a fun, employee-oriented company then AMVC is the fit for you. AMVC Employee Services is looking for top-notch candidates for all levels of production including Manager, Department Manager and Production Technicians to work in sow units located in Ohio and Iowa. AMVC is a well-established experienced business that appreciates honest and dedicated employees. Excellent pay, paid time off, health insurance, dental, vision and 401 K available to eligible employees.

If you are interested in a career with AMVC please contact Ann Randeris at 712-563-2080
awood-randeris@amvcms.com
Fax 712-563-9990

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 BLUEPRINT

As positive margins return to pork producers’ ledgers, owners and managers are recounting the hard lessons learned as they redouble efforts to improve risk management skills, measure and manage production variance with greater precision, and produce quality pork in a safe and sustainable manner. At the heart of the 50th edition in the Blueprint series, published April 15th, 2010, is a focus on new and improved pathways to profitability.

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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

The May 15 edition of the National Hog Farmer will feature the fifth class of the “Masters of the Pork Industry,” featuring personal and professional profiles of industry entrepreneurs destined to leave their mark on the North American pork industry. This special edition also features 21 products nominated for the National Hog Farmer’s World Pork Expo New Product tour and a full slate of WPX events and activities.

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Social Networking For Pork Industry Professionals National Hog Farmer content is available on Facebook, a social networking tool increasingly used by pork industry professionals. Interact with readers and editors, participate in discussions and keep up-to-date with industry happenings. Become a fan of National Hog Farmer!
National Hog Farmer is also on Twitter, a micro-blogging site that provides brief status updates on people, groups or organizations. Users can "follow" people or groups, including news organizations that they want to keep up-to-date with. Follow National Hog Farmer on Twitter!

 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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Join thousands of your peers for three days of learning, networking, training and fun at the 2010 World Pork Expo. From the world’s largest pork-specific trade show and America’s Best Genetics Alley to lunch at the Big Grill, it’s all at the Iowa State Fairgrounds June 9–11. Click here to register. for all the details!

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