Volatility Reaffirms 'Cash is King'
Last spring, Dr. Michael Swanson, chief agricultural
economist at Wells Fargo Ag Industries, addressed the National Pork
Board’s Swine Management Conference on the topic, “Economic
Volatility has Consequences.” The presentation was very informative
and creative, shedding new light on a number of macroeconomic topics, as
well as agricultural markets.
In his presentation, Swanson used a chart similar to Figure 1 (attached)
that simply shows Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Lean Hogs futures
prices for each contract month into the future on a series of given
dates. In Figure 1, I used last week and 31-day intervals for six
months in the past. This provides a picture of the outlook for the hog
market in the eyes of the futures market at 31-day intervals since May
20, 2010. The set of lines is instructive regarding the past and
current “thinking” of the market regarding hog prices.
Back in May, it was pretty clear that hog prices were going to be good
during the summer. That positive outlook remained in place through July
and the outlook for the fall months began to improve. On July 21,
October futures were trading at just over $75 and December futures were
at about $73, over $3 higher than they had been back in May.
Look at Mycoplasma-Related Lameness
Often, the declaration from your veterinarian, “these
pigs have Mycoplasma,” is immediately followed with a question:
“What does that mean?”
The confusion is understandable when we recognize that there are several
quite different Mycoplasma species that very commonly infect pigs.
Additionally, Mycoplasma infections do not always cause clinical
Mycoplasma are bacteria-like organisms that have a long history causing
disease in swine. The most well-known and most economically important is
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, a very common cause of pneumonia.
Three other species cause disease in swine: M. hyosynoviae (Mhs) causes
arthritis (more below); M. hyorhinis can cause disease in young pigs;
and, M. suis (formally known as Eperythrozoon suis or “Epy”) can
cause anemia in pigs (Table 1). Importantly, none of these Mycoplasma
are obligatory pathogens; pigs (herds) can be infected with no
discernible clinical disease. In addition, there are at least six more
species, including M. flocculare, that can be isolated from swine and
sometimes can contribute to erroneous interpretation of certain
File GIPSA Comments
Thousands of public comments were filed concerning the
proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration)
rule on buying and selling livestock and poultry. Many of the comments
were from letters or electronic e-mails.
Some of the more detailed comments came from industry trade
associations. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in its
comments said that USDA lacked authority or “exceeded” it on certain
provisions of the proposed rule, failed to support the need for the
regulations with evidence of problems in the pork industry and didn’t
consider its own studies showing that restricting contracts could harm
the industry. NPPC said that the regulations were “bureaucratic
overreach.” NPPC CEO Neil Dierks said, “In all my years in the pork
industry, I have never seen a regulation proposed that would do as much
harm to America’s pork producers as the GIPSA rule would do.
There’s no justification for imposing this rule on pork producers.
It’s based on anecdotes, not analyses.”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said the proposed
rule was a “pervasive invasion of government into private business.”
NCBA said that the rule was offered by GIPSA with no meaningful
economic analyses and without concern for its impact on producers,
packers, retailers or consumers. The American Meat Institute (AMI)
urged USDA to withdraw the proposed rule because it exceeds the
congressional mandate in the 2008 farm bill; will eliminate more than
100,000 jobs; will destroy partnerships between livestock producers and
meat companies that have improved product quality; and will raise meat
and poultry prices for consumers.
Annual Passion for Pigs Seminar Is Dec. 16
Mike Brumm of Brumm Swine Consultancy, North Mankato, MN,
keynotes the Passion for Pigs Seminar & Trade Show with “We Lose Too
Many Pigs with Our Mistakes” in a discussion of emergency ventilation
systems and pit pumping mistakes.
The conference is Dec. 16 at the Executive Center, Holiday Inn,
Columbia, MO. To register, call Julie Lolli at (660) 651-0570 or e-mail
The morning program includes talks on preventing moldy feed, mycoplasma
and swine influenza virus update, producing robust pigs, subclinical
ileitis, circovirus, practical rodent control, ag law update and
protecting 50% of your farm income with a simple semen
Dec. 3-4, 2010: International PRRS
Symposium, downtown Marriott Hotel Chicago, IL for more information
Dec. 8, 2010: Workshop on Margins, Jefferson
Auditorium, on Independence Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets, S.W.
Washington, DC. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 8, 2010: PorkCast Webinar on Air Filtration
Systems. For more information, contact: Mark Whitney, University of
Minnesota Extension educator at email@example.com or (507)
Dec. 16, 2010: Passion for Pigs Seminar & Trade
Show, Holiday Inn Select Executive Center Columbia, MO. For more
information, contact: Julie Lolli at the Northeast Veterinary Service,
Inc., Shelbina, MO (660) 651-0570.
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
NPPC conducts public-policy outreach on behalf of its 43
state associations, enhancing opportunities for the success of U.S. pork
producers and stakeholders by establishing the pork industry as a
consistent and responsible supplier of high-quality pork to domestic and
world markets. Click here
to learn more and support your industry.
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