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June 7, 2010
In this issue:
  Pork Profits Could Stretch to the End of the Year
  Checklist to Reduce Heat Stress on Sows and Gilts
  China Rises to the Top of U.S. Export Market
  Downers, Euthanasia Among First Issues for Ohio Board

Pork Profits Could Stretch to the End of the Year
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Corn, Soybean Meal and Lean Hogs futures as of Friday, June 4 say there is more to come. My costs and returns model, which are based on the historical Iowa State estimates, have profits of roughly $30/head for June, July and August, and nearly $23/head for September. Current future markets would even provide profits of $5.72/head and $6.87/head, respectively, for November and December – two months that frequently bring red ink, even in good years.

So, is the futures market right? As I have pointed out many times, I find it difficult to argue much with futures markets. They represent a great melting pot of economic information and analysis, all backing real money making real bets on what prices will be in the future. I know of nowhere that more information and analytical talent interact to give us a prediction of the future. That doesn’t mean futures markets are always correct. It only begs the question, “What is a better predictor?”

Good Numbers Needed in Hogs & Pigs Report
USDA’s survey of June 1 hog inventories is underway. Last June’s survey included 9,200 pork producers. March’s survey covered 8,700, so I presume that this year’s June survey will go to roughly 9,000 producers. USDA samples large producers more heavily than small producers since they hold a larger share of total inventories. Responses were received from about 7,600 producers in June 2009 and about 7,000 producers in March 2010.


Checklist to Reduce Heat Stress on Sows and Gilts
As the temperatures rise in summer, sow’s body temperature will increase, too, usually causing a drop in feed intake, especially during lactation. Lower feed intake causes sows to lose extra body weight, which can affect pig weaning weights, days to estrus after weaning, farrowing rate and subsequent litter size.

Because hogs have no sweat glands to cool themselves, we add extra stir fans, water drippers or cool cells in gestation and farrowing rooms to reduce the heat stress on sows and gilts.

A sow’s normal body temperature is 100-103o F. They prefer an environmental temperature at 80o F or less, which is their thermo-neutral temperature.

Two factors influence the effective environmental temperature (EET) of a hog – relative humidity and air temperature. These measures can help create a “heat index” that can be used to determine the temperature settings for cooling systems. The attached heat index chart (Table 1) shows how a change in relative humidity or air temperature can change a sow’s EET.


China Rises to the Top of U.S. Export Market
USDA announced that this fiscal year’s agricultural exports were on pace to reach the second-highest level in history at $104.5 billion – $8 billion higher than last year. The report also indicated that the trade surplus in agriculture is expected to reach $28 billion, the second-highest ever achieved. U.S. agricultural exports to China grew to $10.6 billion during the first half of fiscal year 2010, an increase of nearly $3 billion. This made China the United State’s top market for the first half of the fiscal year.

Regulate non-0157 E. coli Strains — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced legislation to require USDA to regulate non-0157 E. coli strains. The proposed legislation would add the confirmed strains of E. coli (026, 045, 011, 0121, and 0145) and give USDA authority to find and regulate more toxic strains in the future. Senator Gillibrand said, “By expanding the definition of adulterants to other strains, it will require USDA to begin spot testing procedures, force companies (through legal pressure) to test and eliminate the pathogen, and require the Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) to recommend best testing practices to companies.”


Downers, Euthanasia Among First Issues for Ohio Board
Among the first issues to be addressed by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will be downer animals and euthanasia, with hopes of submitting recommended rules by the end of summer

“Those issues are the ones that have a great deal of both federal and state rules and regulations already in place,” says Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. So, unlike some of the other commodity sorts of issues that are going to take a lot of study and a lot of research, we believe that we can move forward on those fairly soon.”

Both issues are also among the provisions included in a proposed constitutional amendment from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has until June 30 to collect over 400,000 valid signatures, in order to place the measure on the November ballot.


June 8-10, 2010: "Sustaining Animal Agriculture: Balancing Bioethical, Ecnomic and Social Issues."
Jefferson Auditorium, USDA's South Agriculutre Building
Washington, DC
For more information contact: Dave Stender by phone (712) 225-6196, fax (712) 225-3173 or e-mail

June 9-11, 2010: World Pork Expo, Iowa State Fairgrounds,
De Moines, IA;
For more information contact:

June 23, 2010: Advanced Swine Reproductive Management Workshop Lifelong Learning Center
Norfolk, NE
For more information contact: Dave Stender by phone (712) 225-6196, fax (712) 225-3173 or e-mail

According to a head-to-head trial1, LINCOMIX® (lincomycin) is equally as efficacious for ileitis control at 40 g/T as Tylan® is at 100 g/T. That means you’ll spend a whopping 40% less for comparable results. Contact your veterinarian or your Pfizer Animal Health representative to learn more.
1. Data on file, Study Report No. 768-9690-0-CPC-97-002, Pfizer Inc.


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.

In just two days thousands of pork producers and industry partners will convene at the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the 2010 World Pork Expo! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network, train and have fun. For an up-to-date glance at all the events and activities, click here. See you soon!


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.

Our breeding technology is delivering what your operation demands, high production results across a wide range of environmental conditions. Count on the industry leader. Go to the trusted source.
Click here for more information.


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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