Canada’s Breeding Herd Slips Further
Last week’s Hog Statistics report from Statistics Canada
indicated an increase in the year-on-year rate of reduction of the
country’s breeding herd compared to the January report. The April 1
breeding herd inventory was 1.304 million head, 28,000 fewer than the
revised Jan.1 estimate and 81,000 head (5.8%) fewer than on April 1,
The revision to the Jan. 1 estimate was smaller than I expected, taking
it from 4.3% lower than one year ago to 4.5% lower. Recall that the
Jan. 1 breeding herd decline was much smaller than Stats Canada’s
estimated 7.8% decline of both Oct-Dec farrowings and pig crop. The
April report revised the fall pig crop up slightly, but the percentage
change for those three categories still do not agree well at
Anniversary to (pandemic 2009 H1N1) Flu
A year ago, we were all up to our eyeballs dealing with
issues surrounding a novel strain of influenza in humans that quickly
became known as the “swine flu.” Time marches on, as does the
popular press. The news cameras turned to chronicling an ongoing parade
of other natural and unnatural disasters, and we can generally agree
that it’s one of those issues that is good to see in the rearview
Flu marches on, too, so this anniversary is an opportunity to take stock
of what happened with the virus after the spotlights disappeared.
Everyone is certainly aware that the pandemic 2009 H1N1 (p2009H1N1)
influenza virus was first reported in the United States after it was
diagnosed in pigs that were exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair last
August (2009). Cases were later reported in commercial pigs in five
states as part of the voluntary U.S. Department of Agriculture’s flu
surveillance program www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/?navid=USDA_H1N1.
Many other pig-producing countries have similarly reported finding the
virus in pigs. At this point, detecting the virus in pigs is not a news
story. It is, however, necessary to keep track of what types of
influenza virus we’re finding in swine herds so we can keep up with
them from a diagnostic and control standpoint.
Ethanol Incentives Expire
The livestock, poultry, and meat sectors are urging
Congress to let the ethanol incentives, Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax
Credit (VEETC) and the tariff on imported ethanol, to expire this year.
In a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee leadership, the
sectors in a letter stated: “Although we support the need to advance
renewable and alternative sources of energy, we strongly believe that it
is time that the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level
playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major
input. The blender’s tax credit, coupled with the import tariff on
foreign ethanol, has distorted the corn market, increased the cost of
feeding animals, and squeezed production margins – resulting in job
losses and bankruptcies in rural communities across America.” Those
signing the letter were American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s
Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Pork Producers
Council and National Turkey Federation.
Agricultural Transportation Report — USDA released a
comprehensive report, “Study of Rural Transportation Issues,” on
agricultural transportation in the United States, mandated by the 2008
farm bill. The report covers the four major modes of transportation
commonly used by agriculture – truck, rail, barge, and ocean vessel.
USDA said, “Agriculture is the largest user of freight transportation
in the United States, with 31% of all ton-miles recorded in 2007, being
used in the movement of agricultural products. This report provides
policy makers the vital information needed to make strategic
infrastructure and policy decisions to meet rural America's
transportation needs, now and in the future." The report examines some
of the major issues facing agricultural transportation, including the
dramatic effect of deregulation on the rail industry, a growing gap for
funding the inland waterways and highway systems, availability of
containers and ocean vessel capacity, and the infrastructure that may be
needed to support a projected increase in biofuel transportation. The
report is available at www.ams.usda.gov/RuralTransportationStudy.
Agencies Say No Studies Link Animal Drug Use with Human
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease
Control and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, concurred in a legislative hearing last week
that there are no definitive studies proving a definitive link between
the use of antibiotics in animals and human resistance.
They testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on
Health April 28. Their remarks were in response to queries from Rep.
John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
as to whether there were definitive studies to link the use of
antibiotics in animal feed to changes in resistance in humans.
May 16-19, 2010: Alltech's 26th
International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium,
For more information contact: www.alltech.com.
June 9-11, 2010: World Pork Expo, Iowa State
De Moines, IA;
For more information contact: www.worldpork.org.
July 18-21, 2010: Allen D. Leman Swine Conference,
St. Paul, MN;
For more information contact: (765)-463-3594 or www.cvm.edu/VetMedCE.
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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