Slaughter Runs Return to “Expected” Levels
Weekly federally inspected (FI) hog slaughter totals have
returned to “expected” levels the past two weeks, actually exceeding
the numbers suggested by USDA’s March Hogs and Pigs report by roughly
23,000 and 16,000 head, respectively. Those slight over-runs, of
course, follow three weeks in which slaughter runs were sharply lower
than the numbers expected from the report, with the cumulative slaughter
since March 1 still 110,000 lower than the forecast level (Figure 1).
The April shortfall was driven by several factors. Lingering
performance challenges cannot be ruled out, though most of the
production adjustments to corn and feed quality were accomplished last
winter. And, some cattlemen understandably decided to “feed them a
little longer.” The difference in the outcome for cattle feeders and
hog producers, of course, is that when cattle feeders do this, they are
usually hoping for a reversal of an ongoing price decline and the extra
weight just makes the price decline worse.
Measures to Help Achieve 30 Pigs/Mated Female/Year
There are 12 farms in the Swine Management Services’
(SMS) benchmarking database of 724 farms that produced 29 pigs
weaned/mated female/year or more for the last four quarters. The average
size of these herds is 722 mated females, with nine under 1,000 mated
females and three over 1,000 mated females. These dozen farms take
different routes to get this production level.
In an effort to learn more about these top-producing farms, we looked at
eight production areas to see how much variation there was among the 12
farms. The eight charts attached include the entire database of 724
farms and where the 12 top farms fit in. Even these farms have the
potential for producing more pigs with a few minor changes in their
production management procedures.
Agriculture Loses as Congress Waits on FTAs
U.S. agriculture is losing markets as Congress fails to
address the pending free trade agreements (FTA) of Columbia, Panama and
South Korea. That was the message delivered at a press conference by
the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), National Pork Producers
Council (NPPC), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National
Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), and the National Corn Growers
Association (NCGA). NPPC said that analyses done by Iowa State
University show that if the United States does not approve the pending
FTAs, the United States would be shut out of the affected markets within
10 years. The analyses also shows that the U.S.-Korea FTA would add $10
to the price U.S. pork producers receive for each hog marketed.
According to AFBF, in 2008-2009, there was almost a 50% drop in U.S.
agricultural exports to Columbia. AFBF said, “For agriculture,
Congress’ inaction on these agreements is no longer about potential
gains, but now about preventing losing what we already have.” In
2008/2009, U.S. wheat dominated almost 70% of Columbia’s wheat market.
According to NAWG, the U.S. share of Columbia’s wheat market could
drop as low as 30% if Canada approves its pending FTA with Columbia
before the United States does. This would result in an annual loss of
more than $92 million for the U.S. wheat industry.
Launches New ‘Hogs on the Hill’ Blog
The National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC) new blog,
“Hogs on the Hill,” launches today.
“Hogs on the Hill” opens up another means of communicating issues of
importance to U.S. pork producers.
NPPC says it also serves as a way to bypass media gatekeepers who have
not been very responsive to NPPC’s rebuttals to editorials and stories
critical of the U.S. pork industry.
Visit the new blog site by going to hogsonthehill.blogspot.com/,
“The Voice of the U.S. Pork Industry with a Swine’s Eye
May 16-19, 2010: Alltech's 26th
International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium,
For more information contact: www.alltech.com.
June 8-10, 2010: "Sustaining Animal
Agriculture: Balancing Bioethical, Ecnomic and Social Issues."
Jefferson Auditorium, USDA's South Agriculutre Building
For more information contact: Council for Agricultural Science and
Technology at <a
June 9-11, 2010: World Pork Expo, Iowa State
De Moines, IA;
For more information contact: www.worldpork.org.
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