Stocks, Yields Drive Feed Prices Higher
Last Friday’s USDA Crop Production and World Supply and
Demand Estimates reports have made this week’s column much darker and
foreboding. Just eight short days after finding 300 million bushels
more corn in Sept. 1 inventories (i.e. year-end or carryout inventories
for the 2009-2010 crop year), USDA reduced its forecasts of 2010 corn
yield and total crop size enough to push projected year-end stocks in
2011 to less than 1 billion bushels. That level puts the projected
year-end-stocks-to-use ratio at its lowest level since 1995-96 and the
second lowest level in my data set, which goes back to 1969.
The first number to note in Table 1 is the sharply reduced feed and
residual figure for the 2009-10 crop year. USDA had to account for the
low Sept. 1 stocks figure and did so by reducing feed/residual by 7.5%
from its September estimate. That figure would mean Q3 feed/residual
usage would amount to only about 200 million bushels compared to 600-700
million bushels the past three years. Pretty ridiculous.
Two facts are important. First, this category does include residual, so
it also catches all of the errors in the other categories. We usually
focus on the feed component and that is normally an acceptable practice.
But when weird things are happening, the residual part of this number
can become large. That doesn’t provide much clarity, but it must be
recognized as an important issue in this case.
Farrowing to Save More Pigs
Over the last few months, there have been several articles
in pork industry magazines featuring producers who are focused on saving
more pigs in the farrowing unit. With this in mind, we took a closer
look at the SMS Farm Benchmarking database to see whether this emphasis
has affected total pigs born, stillborn rates, and pre-weaning
To address how farms classify mortalities in farrowing, SMS developed an
equation that we call “piglet survival,” which is simply: 100% -
(stillborn % and preweaning mortality %).
Table 1 shows farms that had 13+ total pigs born/female farrowed for the
last 52 weeks. In the data set, 282 farms from our data base of 775
farms met these criteria (36.4%). The data was then broken out by size
of farms: 93 small farms (<1,000 sows), 147 medium-sized farms (1,000
to 2,999 sows), and 42 large farms (>3,000 sows).
In Table 1, the average pigs weaned/mated female/year (PW/MF/Y) is 25.09
pigs. Small Farms averaged 25.84, medium farms averaged 25.08, and large
farms averaged 24.88 PW/MF/Y. We were surprised to see a 12.7-pig
variation, with the top farm averaging 31.6 PW/MF/Y and the bottom farm
at 18.9 PW/MF/Y. In looking at total born/female farrowed, all farms
highest to lowest ranged from 15.8 to 13.0 pigs, with large farms
topping out at 14.7 pigs. Pigs weaned/female farrowed ranged from 12.8
to 9.0 pigs for all farms and averaged 10.51 pigs.
Policymakers Call for “Vigorous Economic Analysis” of GIPSA
Over 100 congressmen sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary
of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking that USDA’s Office of Chief
Economist provide a comprehensive economic analysis of the proposed
Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) rule on
livestock and poultry marketing. The letter said, “Such a broad rule
that extends so far beyond Congress’ direction in the farm bill, and
that would precipitate major changes in livestock and poultry marketing,
requires a vigorous economic analysis. The analysis contained in the
proposed rule fails to demonstrate the need for the rule, assess the
impact of its implementation on the marketplace, or establish how the
implementation of the rule would address the demonstrated need.” The
letter, organized by Congressmen Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the
House Agriculture Committee, and Frank Lucas, ranking member of the
committee, was signed by 115 members. Also, a number of members of the
Florida congressional delegation sent a letter to USDA regarding the
proposed rule. The Florida letter said, “Upon close review, this
proposed rule contains many elements and almost exact wording that was
discussed and eliminated by Congress when the farm bill was passed in
2008. It is our opinion that government should not take on the role of
manipulating domestic supply, cost or prices. This proposed rule is a
clear invasion of the government into the private
Livestock Care Board Addresses Critical Issues
The Ohio Department of Agriculture has issued a special
meeting notice for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Technical
Research Advisory Committee and Veal Subcommittee to convene Tuesday,
Oct. 12 from 1-4 p.m. at the Ohio State University’s Veterinary
Medicine Academic Building in the Epperson Conference Room, 1900 Coffey
Rd., Columbus OH.
The purpose of the special meeting will be to discuss draft
non-ambulatory care standards, draft swine care standards and draft veal
The board, established in November 2009, is charged with establishing
standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in
Oct. 14-16, 2010: USan Antonio
International Farm and Ranch Show, San Antonio Livestock Expo & Freeman
San Antonio, TX
for more information contact: http://www.farmandranchexpo.com
or call (210) 226-1177
Nov. 4-5, 2010: : Iowa State University Swine
Disease Conference for Swine
Practitioners, Scheman Building, Iowa State University
for more information contact:Julie Kieffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or(515)
Nov. 11-17, 2010: United States Animal Health
Association and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory
Diagnosticians Annual Meeting, Minneapolis Hilton Hotel
for more information contact: www.usaha.org or www.aavld.org.
U.S. pork producers must be able to compete in foreign markets
without restrictive tariffs or sanitary barriers to trade. NPPC’s
mission of gaining and expanding access to markets through free trade
agreements is paramount to the continued success of the U.S. pork
industry — Click here
to learn more.
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