Surprises in Pig Crop Report
USDA’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, released Monday
afternoon, indicated hog inventories quite close to expected levels, but
also contains production forecasts that will likely be viewed as bullish
in Tuesday’s trading. Analysts are calling the report anywhere from
neutral to moderately bullish. The key data from the report appear in
Table 1. Here are a few highlights:
• Inventories of market pigs and breeding stock were within 1%
of the average of analysts’ pre-report estimates. Differences of that
magnitude usually mean a neutral report, but note that all but one of
the actual year-on-year percentage numbers is smaller than the analysts
predicted. That fact may lead to some strength for Lean Hogs futures on
• While federally inspected (FI) hog slaughter has run ahead of
year-ago levels for much of the fourth quarter, that is not true of
December. Comparing equal numbers of weekdays and Saturdays for 2010 to
2009, FI slaughter this December has been only fractionally higher than
last year, which agrees with USDA’s 180-lb. and over inventory and
that is virtually equal to that of December 2009.
Since I have been continuously shoveling and snow-blowing
my driveway this past month, I have had a lot of time to reflect.
Thinking back to the mid-’70s when I was in high school, believe it or
not the Minnesota Vikings football team was in the Super Bowl. Of
course, those of you under the age of 40 wouldn’t remember that.
I also reflected back to 1975, when a tremendous blizzard hit the
Midwest. I remember my father and I had to get to the hog barns to
check on the pigs. One barn had the feeders and waterers outside. As my
dad and I were walking, I told him we were standing on the roof of the
barn! He didn’t believe me at first, but as we started digging, he
realized that’s exactly where we were. We did not have electricity
for several days and, since water and feed were outside, the pigs
struggled and we unfortunately lost a few. We worked as hard as we could
to get feed and water to the hogs, but the snow and the cold were too
much. I remember how stressed my father was in trying to take care of
the pigs and the hours we spent digging and shoveling snow. The only
good thing I remember from this timeframe is I didn’t have to watch
another Vikings loss.
Sixty-Thousand-Plus GIPSA Comments Filed
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said at a briefing on
the proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards
Administration) rule regarding livestock and poultry marketing practices
that the department had received more than 60,000 public comments. USDA
will take time to analyze and evaluate the comments. He also said that
a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis will be conducted on the proposed
rule. Last September in a letter to USDA, 115 congressmen had asked
that an economic analysis be conducted on the proposed rule.
Ethanol and Biodiesel Tax Credits Extended — The recently
passed tax cut/stimulus package extends the 45 cents-per-gallon ethanol
blender credit and the tariff on imported ethanol for one year. The
$1.00/gallon production tax credit for biodiesel is made retroactive to
Jan. 1, 2010 and has been extended through 2011. The ethanol trade
association, Growth Energy, said that extending the ethanol blenders tax
credit will “provide certainty in the marketplace and give us a chance
to work with Congress and the administration to enact longer term tax
policy reforms that will level the playing field in the fuels market.”
The American Meat Institute, which opposed the extension, said, “For
30 years, the American taxpayer has been subsidizing corn-based ethanol
and unfortunately the Senate has failed to break that dependency
relationship once again, even as this country teeters on the brink of a
budgetary abyss. For yet another year, $6 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars
will be diverted from hardworking families to the pocketbooks of the
ethanol industry for production that is mandated by the federal
government, despite the fact that the American people are crying out for
for Voluntary Limits on Antibiotic Use
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently requested
that producers and veterinarians voluntarily restrict use of
antimicrobials in food-producing animals for growth promotion.
FDA says the approach is more prudent than attempting to regulate their
use in the agency’s quest to stave off antibiotic resistance in
Tom Burkgren, DVM, executive director of the American Association of
Swine Veterinarians (AASV), says this request is nothing new. Over the
last couple of years, the agency has been in conversation with AASV and
other industry groups to encourage veterinarians to voluntarily restrict
use of antimicrobials, and also to lobby drug company sponsors to change
their labels to discourage routine growth promotion use.
Jan. 19-20, 2011: Minnesota Pork
Congress, Minneapolis Convention Center. Minneapolis, MN.
For more information contact; Minnesota Pork Producers Association by
phone (507) 345-8814, e-mail MNPork@MNPork.com or go online http://www.mnpork.com/porkcongress/index.php.
Jan. 25-27, 2011: Iowa Pork Producers Association
Annual Meeting and Iowa Pork Congress, Iowa Events Center. Des Moines,
For exhibitor information, contact Doug Fricke by e-mail email@example.com or call
for seminar information, contact Tyler Bettin by
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
call (515) 225-7675.
Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and 14, 2011: Employee Management
Workshop for Agricultural Operations (three-part workshop), Hardin
County Extension Office.
Iowa Falls, IA.
For more information contact: Russ Euken, extension livestock
specialist, by phone (641) 923-2856 or e-mail email@example.com or Mark Storlie,
swine field specialist, by phone (563) 425-3331 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
to learn more.
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