Uncertainties Slow Action
I am neither an accomplished athlete nor an all-knowing
coach. But there is one athletic principle that I know for certain:
uncertainty equals slow. Regardless of the age or athletic ability, a
player or team that does not know what they are supposed to do will be
slow to act or react, significantly diminishing their chances of
success. So it is with matters economic. Uncertainty causes caution and
caution causes inaction. Our economy as a whole and the livestock sector
in particular are facing significant uncertainties and are exhibiting
the attendant inaction at present. Consider the following:
• Congress passed sweeping legislation “reforming” health care
and health insurance and substantially changing the rules under which
financial institutions operate. Both pieces of legislation are massive
with many details and specific requirements. I haven’t read either,
but I would bet that both have many internal conflicts and leave about
as many questions unanswered as answered. Few, if any, know what these
new laws mean from an operational standpoint. One result has been
hesitation on the part of businesses to respond to what appears to be a
recovering economy by adding new workers and stoking that recovery.
Another has been an apparent paralysis in the capital markets where
little is happening because the particular risks are unclear or unknown.
A return to consistent and acceptable growth rates will require more
jobs and more capital to support those workers and make them
Butts Don’t Get No Respect
The pork butt is the Rodney Dangerfield of pork cuts.
It’s more tender, juicy, flavorful and affordable than many cuts in
the pork carcass, but it doesn’t get any respect. A new international
initiative is out to change that.
U.S. pork processors and exporters met with U.S. Meat Export Federation
(USMEF) international directors and U.S.-based staff this August in a
New Opportunity Conference to identify which pork and beef products
would benefit from additional attention in the global marketplace, and
what USMEF could do to better position the targeted cuts to increase
both sales and profitability.
In the minds of those participating pork industry executives, there were
no ifs or ands about it, the butt was far and away the top pork cut
identified with the greatest unrealized potential.
“The pork butt grades very well when compared to the ham and loin
muscles in terms of tenderness, juiciness and flavor,” says Dan
Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of marketing and communications.
“It truly is an attractive and affordable cut that is greatly
Rule Could Result in $1.56 Billion GDP Loss
A recent study concerning the proposed Grain Inspection,
Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule on buying and selling
livestock and poultry found that the annual drop in gross domestic
product (GDP) would be as much as $1.56 billion. The annual loss in tax
revenues is estimated at $359 million. The study found that the rule
would result in “ongoing and indirect” costs to the livestock and
poultry industries, borne by producers and consumers, of more than $164
billion. This would include nearly $880 million to the beef industry,
more than $401 billion to the pork industry, and $362 million to the
poultry industry. Informa Economics, which conducted the study, said,
“Effects will have a very long tail. The affected industries will
still be feeling an impact a decade or more into the future. All signs
point to detrimental outcomes for small producers, the very ones the
rule is designed to help.” The study was conducted on behalf of the
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Meat Association,
National Pork Producers Council and the National Turkey
Board Set to Trim Its Committee Structure
At its meeting this week in Des Moines, the National Pork
Board will be reviewing its committee structure and mulling a report
from a task force it appointed last spring to study how producer
committees are organized.
The board currently has 11 pork producer-led committees that provide
guidance on issues ranging from product marketing, environment, to
animal health and food safety. The task force is recommending that the
board trim the number of committees to eight by combining two committees
that focus on producer services, education and communications and two
others that focus on nutrition and pork safety.
It is also advising that a committee focused on niche marketing become a
subcommittee of the merged producer group, and that the board assure
that producers who specialize in providing niche market products be
included on all board committees.
“Creating a task force to study our committee process was one of the
recommendations in our new five-year strategic plan,” says Gene
Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, AR, who is president of
the National Pork Board. “The task force recognized the importance of
the work that producer-led committees do. They provide valuable
expertise in areas the board, as a whole, might not possess. But the
task force also found that there was some overlap between committees,
prompting its recommendations on reorganization.
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.
Nov. 16-19, 2010: EuroTier 2010, Exhibition
Grounds, Hanover, Germany; contact: www.eurotier.de.
Nov. 18, 2010:2010 Kansas State Swine Industry Day,
Kansas State Alumni Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
for more information contact: Jim Nelssen by phone (785) 532-1251 or
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Lois
Schreiner by phone (785) 532-1267 or e-mail email@example.com.
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
1. Data on file, Study Report No. 768-9690-0-CPC-97-002, Pfizer
The proposed USDA GIPSA ruling will impact contract terms,
restrict marketing arrangements, create legal uncertainty and limit the
ability to negotiate prices — a recipe for chaos for U.S. pork
to send comments to GIPSA.
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