Mobile Version   Web Version   Add to Safe Sender List   Renew your Subscription to National Hog Farmer From the editors of National Hog Farmer Magazine
National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
October 4, 2010
In this issue:
  Corn Controversies Impact the Hog Market
  Mycoplasma: Still a Profit Robber
  Wholesale Pork Added to Mandatory Price Reporting Bill
  USDA Secretary Vilsack Asked to Scrap New Livestock Regulations

Corn Controversies Impact the Hog Market
The news this week revolves around the corn market and the impact of USDA’s big surprise in last Thursday’s Grain Stocks report. In case you missed it, USDA said in that report that year-end (e.g. Sept. 1) corn stocks were 1.708 billion bushels, 322 million more than was in its September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and 300 million bushels more than the average pre-report estimate of 1.407 million bushels.

That increase is a complete reversal from the June stocks report that said corn inventories were 300 million bushels smaller than expected. It also implies the lowest summer feed usage since the 1970s, which puts feed and residual use for this past crop year at about 5.2 billion bushels.

The “found” supply offsets some of the concern over 2010 corn yields, but it also raises questions about the source of the corn in question. USDA says it has accounted for this year’s early harvest and kept 2010-11 corn out of the year-end 2009-10 stocks numbers. Most analysts are not buying into that explanation, however, since new crop corn was being widely used to blend with poor quality old-crop corn. Add that to the needs of southern poultry growers for higher quality corn and it is difficult to see how some crop-year crossing has not occurred.


Mycoplasma: Still a Profit Robber
Mycoplasma pneumonia (MPS) is still present in swine after all these years. Change seems to be the operative word in the swine industry, but it would seem that MPS may be one disease risk that steadfastly lurks as a profit robber.

Since it was recognized in the 1950s, enzootic pneumonia or MPS associated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mh) has been a fairly reliable contributor to respiratory disease in grow-finish operations. The major reasons for this include:

    • Mh infections are widespread in pig populations;

    • Mh infections are easily transmitted between pig populations;

    • Mh infections can be present for long periods of time without causing substantial clinical signs; and

    • A potpourri of stressors and co-infections can exacerbate disease occurrence.


Wholesale Pork Added to Mandatory Price Reporting Bill
President Barack Obama signed the Mandatory Price Reporting Reauthorization bill, which renews mandatory price reporting for beef, pork, and 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.

Agriculture vs. EPA — The issue of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations and initiatives on U.S. agriculture is getting more and more attention:

    Senate Agriculture Committee: The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to “Examine the Impact of EPA Regulation on Agriculture.” Senators of both parties raised concerns with EPA’s spray drift guidance, settling clean water act lawsuits, greenhouse gases, dust spreading, atrazine regulation, E-15 ethanol use, and phosphorus standards in water. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson if these new regulations would even benefit conservation or (did they) just hinder the lives of farmers? She also expressed concern that the EPA was not setting achievable goals for farmers and not providing them with the proper resources and tools needed for new compliance obligations and regulations. Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) complained of the nonstop regulatory assaults on agriculture and the effects on small producers.

    Congressional Members: A group of House of Representatives members met with EPA to discuss the application of laws under the agency’s jurisdiction to farmers, ranchers and small businesses. The members indicated that many of “today’s environmental programs are not only highly controversial in our districts, but are viewed as resulting in consequences and wide-ranging negative effects that were never anticipated or considered when the existing laws were passed.”


USDA Secretary Vilsack Asked to Scrap New Livestock Regulations
In an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak, Mark Legan, pork producer from Coatesville, IN, a member of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) board of directors and chairman of the NPPC’s Competitive Markets Committee, asks USDA to scrap the Grain, Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule and start over. Legan wrote:

“Dear Secretary Vilsack, “I spent seven years as an agricultural Extension agent before starting out in hog farming in Putnam County, Indiana. I sincerely appreciate your efforts to revive rural America. I also attended your recent competition workshop in Fort Collins, CO.

“I have a suggestion, if you really want to entice people back to the rural lifestyle and increase competition in the livestock industry: withdraw the regulations you proposed in June that will result in government – not producers –deciding how livestock are bought and sold in this country.


Oct. 5-6, 2010: Food System Summit, InterContinental O’Hare Hotel, Chicago, IL; contact:

Oct. 14-16, 2010: USan Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, San Antonio Livestock Expo & Freeman Coliseum
San Antonio, TX
for more information contact: or call (210) 226-1177

Nov. 4-5, 2010: : Iowa State University Swine Disease Conference for Swine Practitioners, Scheman Building, Iowa State University
Ames, IA
for more information contact:Julie Kieffer at or(515) 956-3201.



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.

How can Compost-A-Mats clear up scouring litters?
  • Upon identifying scouring piglets, place a Compost-A-Mat directly under a heat lamp in the farrowing crate.
  • This will create a clean and warm area for piglets to dry up and help overall farrowing house performance.
  • The Compost-A-Mat should remain in the crate for seven days or until piglets have stopped scouring.
  • At this point, the Compost-A-Mat will contain fecal material and can be broken down for feedback.
For more info click here


The Sept. 15th edition of National Hog Farmer magazine features a special report, sponsored by Phibro Animal Health, Pork Checkoff and National Hog Farmer, which highlights the 2010 Environmental Stewards award winners. In addition, you will find a special feature explaining oral fluid collection using cotton ropes as a simple, inexpensive disease screening method for various swine diseases. These and additional production-based articles may be found at

The Strategic Investment Program (SIP) is the primary source of funds for the National Pork Producers Council. As an investor, you will help NPPC fight for reasonable legislation and regulation, develop revenue and market opportunities and protect livelihoods. SIP investors have a voice in NPPC policy development. Learn more.


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.


Change E-mail   Unsubscribe
Web Version   Archive

About This Newsletter