Hogs Prop Up August Prices
The July-August hog price rally was even larger than
history suggested it might be – and it may have come to a screeching
halt last week. As you can see in Figure 1, USDA’s estimated pork
cutout value rose to near record highs. In fact, the weekly average
will be the third-highest ever, falling just short of the weeks of Aug.
15 and Aug. 22 in 2008. The cutout value weakened in late-week trading,
but it still held at $90.05 on Friday.
This cutout value rally and continued strength in the by-product and
variety meat markets have resulted in very good packer margins this
summer (see Figure 2). This makes for a pretty good situation when
producers and packers can make money at the same time. The drop value as
computed by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver has
been $18/head or more since last November.
Those margins, combined with continued low slaughter runs, will likely
result in cash hog prices remaining relatively strong through August.
Last week marked the seventh non-holiday week this year and the fifth of
the past eight non-holiday weeks with less than two million
Thoughts on How Weaning Age Affects Sow Productivity
As we continue to analyze the effect of weaning age on sow
herd performance, we have three more areas for discussion and review:
total born/mated female, born live/mated female and pigs weaned/mated
As we review the research literature, the effect of adding one day to
weaning age on total pigs born/litter varies. The range is 0.08 to 0.14
pigs/day added. So if you increase weaning age by four days, you could
expect to increase total pigs born by 0.32 to 0.56 pigs/litter.
Table 1 features data from the 686 farms representing 1,211,000 females
in our data set. We have summarized the data in Table 1 in three areas
– total pigs born, pigs born alive, and pigs weaned/litter in the
following categories: Top 10%, Top 25%, Top 50%, All Farms, Bottom 50%,
and Bottom 25%, based on pigs weaned/mated female/year. All farms in
this data are weaning, on average, 20+ pigs/mated female/year.
Pork Added to Mandatory Price Reporting
The Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed
legislation to renew mandatory price reporting. The legislation is
identical to that passed by the House Agriculture Committee, which
renews mandatory price reporting for beef, pork, lamb, and adds dairy
products, for five years. The legislation modifies existing law by
requiring Mandatory Reporting of Wholesale Pork (MRWP) cuts in order to
expand transparency in the pork industry. It also requires USDA to
establish within one year an electronic price reporting system for dairy
products. The legislation is supported by American Farm Bureau
Federation, American Meat Institute, American Sheep Industry
Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers
Union, National Pork Producers Council, National Meat Association and
the United States Cattleman’s Association.
Livestock Workshop Plans Updated — The Department of Justice
and USDA announced additional details regarding the Aug. 27 workshop at
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO, which will focus on
competition in the livestock industry. U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will address the opening
session. There will be public testimony from those attending the
workshop. Panels will feature producers, academics, processors, and
other industry representatives. This is the fourth in a series of five
workshops regarding agricultural competition issues. Anyone interested
in attending the workshop is encouraged to pre-register at: www.conferences.colostate.edu/LiveStockWorkshop.
Three Meetings On Animal Disease Traceability
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service plans to hold three additional public
meetings on the animal disease traceability framework approach this
month, in order to prepare for a USDA regulation to track animals
The sessions follow a Feb. 5, 2010 announcement by Agriculture
Secretary Tom Vilsack that USDA will develop a new framework for animal
disease traceability requiring states and tribal nations to establish
the ability to trace back animals moving interstate to their state of
USDA held an animal disease traceability forum in March 2010 in Kansas
City to discuss how to develop the framework and ways to achieve
Aug. 24, 2010: “Doing Things Right:
Farming for the Future,” sponsored by the Coalition to Support
Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), Best Western Starlite Village, Fort Dodge, IA
For more information contact: CSIF at (515) 225-5515 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
August 30-31, 2010: Joint Strategy Forum on Animal
Disease Traceability, Renaissance Denver Hotel, Denver, CO
For more information go to: www.animalagriculture.org or
August 31, 2010: 20th Annual Carthage Veterinary
Service, Ltd. Swine Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
For more information contact: (217) 357-2811 or go to www.hogvet.com.
NPPC’s grassroots organization —trains industry
stakeholders to tell the story of U.S. pork. As a LEADR you will help
lawmakers understand how their decisions affect your business, your
family, your community and your ability to provide consumers with safe,
affordable and healthy pork.
Click here to
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1. Data on file, Study Report No. 768-9690-0-CPC-97-002, Pfizer