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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
February 14, 2011
In this issue:
  Corn, Soybean Stock Report Steady
  2010 Rivals 2008 as Banner Year for Pork Exports
  House Agriculture Committee Outlines Agenda
  Former Agriculture Secretaries Push Passage of Korea-U.S. FTA

Corn, Soybean Stock Report Steady
USDA’s February Crop Production and World Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports included no changes for U.S. corn and soybean supplies, but it did increase corn usage for ethanol and food, seed and industrial purposes by 50 million and 20 million bushels, respectively. The former is in response to continuing increases in ethanol output and higher oil prices. The latter is mainly due to higher sugar prices that will increase the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

The net impact was to push projected year-end stocks to 675 million bushels, only 5% of total usage. That stocks:use ratio matches the level of 1995-96, the previous lowest on record. Put another way, there will be just less than 19 days’ worth of corn in inventory at the end of the crop year. I am relatively certain that will mean that corn will be hard to find in some localities come late summer, especially if harvest is delayed at all. I urge hog producers to get 45-60 days’ supply of corn in hand soon. That task will become more difficult if any problems develop during planting season.

The three contracts for the remainder of the 2010-2011 crop year are now all above $7/bu. and show little sign of running out of steam yet. I can see little that will force corn lower until it is clear we have a 2011 crop planted and off to a good start.


2010 Rivals 2008 as Banner Year for Pork Exports
While 2008 remains the zenith for U.S. pork exports, in many ways 2010 has matched it when it comes to the value international exports bring to U.S. producers.

Final statistics for 2010 show that U.S. pork exports (muscle cuts plus variety meat) exceeded 1.9 million metric tons (more than 4.2 billion pounds) valued at almost $4.8 billion. These totals represent a 3% increase in volume and a 10% jump in value over 2009. Although exports fell 6.6% short of the volume record set in 2008, their value is just 2% shy of the 2008 record.

The importance of the 2010 results can be viewed in several ways. First of all, 2010 was a challenging year in several key areas. Access was limited for parts of the year in two key markets, China and Russia, with issues related to H1N1. While both markets showed positive signs in the last quarter, China’s imports of U.S. pork were still down 31.6% in value vs. 2008 levels, and Russia’s totals were 55% lower.


House Agriculture Committee Outlines Agenda
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, released an oversight plan that identifies federal programs and policies the committee plans to review to determine their effects on agriculture. Items include:

• Review USDA implementation of the 2008 farm bill;

• Assess implementation of energy programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill;

• Review implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard;

• Review the impact of regulatory activities by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its effect on agricultural productivity;


Former Agriculture Secretaries Push Passage of Korea-U.S. FTA
Eight former secretaries of agriculture have added their support, along with an ad hoc coalition of U.S. companies and farm and food groups coordinated by the National Pork Producers Council, to passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

In a letter to members of Congress, Bob Bergland, John Block, Mike Espy, Dan Glickman, Mike Johanns, John Knebel, Ed Schafer and Clayton Yeutter urged lawmakers to vote to approve the trade pact’s enabling legislation. “It is imperative that the KORUS FTA be implemented as soon as possible,” they said.

According to the National Pork Producers Council, the Korean market is now the fifth-largest for U.S. agricultural exports, valued at $3.9 billion in 2009.


Feb. 15-16, 2011: Illinois Pork Expo, Peoria Civic Center Peoria, IL; for more information contact: Illinois Pork Producers Association by phone (217) 529-3100 or

Feb. 15, 22 and March 1: Employee Management Workshop for Agricultural Operations (three-part workshop), Northwestern Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA; for more information contact: Russ Euken, extension livestock specialist, by phone (641) 923-2856 or e-mail or Mark Storlie, swine field specialist, by phone (563) 425-3331 or e-mail

Feb. 23, 2011: Nebraska Pork Industry Day and Expo, Cornhusker Marriott Hotel
Lincoln, NE; for more information contact: Nebraska Pork Producers Association at (888) 627-7675.

Feb. 24, 2011: Michigan Professional Pork Producers Symposium, The Lansing Center, Michigan State University; Lansing. For more information contact: Mary Kelpinski at the Michigan Pork Producers Association at (517) 699-2145 or or visit



The October 15 Blueprint edition of National Hog Farmer provides guidelines for building a sound replacement gilt program, including nutritional considerations to maximize genetic potential and the importance of an effective herd health management program. In addition, the issue offers a special section on screening replacement gilt candidates for skeletal and reproductive soundness.

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.


The January 15 edition of National Hog Farmer features an exclusive report from the largest livestock trade show in the European Union – EuroTier 2010 – staged in Hanover, Germany late last year. The special report includes a closer look at loose sow housing options, a profile of the German equipment and technology test center, plus a glimpse of some unique, energy saving features in a 1,000-sow, farrow-to-wean operation. Go to to view the issue.

Social Networking For Pork Industry Professionals National Hog Farmer content is available on Facebook, a social networking tool increasingly used by pork industry professionals. Interact with readers and editors, participate in discussions and keep up-to-date with industry happenings. Become a fan of National Hog Farmer!
National Hog Farmer is also on Twitter, a micro-blogging site that provides brief status updates on people, groups or organizations. Users can "follow" people or groups, including news organizations that they want to keep up-to-date with. Follow National Hog Farmer on Twitter!


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.


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