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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
April 4, 2011
 
In this issue:
  Crop Report Contains Some Surprises
  Getting to the Bottom of Lameness Concerns
  More Corn Acres, But Stocks Remain Tight
  Missouri Groups Unite To Tell Agriculture's Story

MARKET PREVIEW
Crop Report Contains Some Surprises
It was quite a week. While the Hogs and Pigs report of March 25 was pretty much as expected, the crop-related reports of March 31 were surprising or shocking, depending on your point of view.

USDA’s Prospective Plantings report provided a glimmer of hope for 2011 corn supplies when USDA’s estimated acres came in at 92.2 million acres, four million acres more than last year and 400,000 acres larger than the average pre-report estimate (Figure 1). Soybean acres are predicted to be slightly lower than last year at 76.6 million. While encouraging, close inspection and a few computations quickly indicated that it wasn’t nearly time to celebrate.

First was the matter of USDA’s estimated total planted acres and the question of where the added acres might come from. Total intended plantings of the four largest U.S. crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton) number 239.4 million, 9.23 million more than last year (Figure 2). Add in the next four crops and you get 253.9 million, 8.8 million larger than in 2010. Lower hay acres (900,000 of them) explain only a fraction of the increase.

Where will the acres come from? Jerry Gidel of North American Risk Management wrote last week that roughly 2.15 million more acres will come from North and South Dakota this year due to prevented plantings in 2010. In addition, he estimates there will be 2.5 million acres of double-cropped soybeans in the southern Corn Belt and about 600,000 more acres planted in Texas. But those add up to only 5.25 million acres, significantly lower than USDA’s estimated eight million or so acres. So the question becomes if there is a shortfall, where will it be?

FULL ARTICLE

SWINE HEALTH PREVIEW
Getting to the Bottom of Lameness Concerns
Data from the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ISU-VDL) and shared experiences from swine veterinarians suggest the frequency of cases of infectious arthritis and lameness in pigs seems to be increasing. Although there are many potential causes and risk factors for lameness, two that are of interest include Mycoplasma hyorhinis and Mycoplasma hyosynoviae.

The frequency of detection of M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae has dramatically increased, as has the frequency of diagnosis of arthritis in the ISU-VDL. It is tempting to correlate the increased number of cases of arthritis submitted with the increased detection of these pathogens. However, as described in the literature, the presence of these potential pathogens within the synovial cavity is not enough to confirm a positive diagnosis of infectious arthritis. This leads to some relevant questions:

•Are these pathogens important?

•How can we get an accurate diagnosis?

•Do these pathogens have significant impact in the swine industry?

Although arguments suggest that there is a lack of current literature to confirm and support our hypotheses regarding the course of the disease and its importance, we will address these questions to provide an alert to a possible emerging issue.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
More Corn Acres, But Stocks Remain Tight
USDA’s recent “prospective plantings” report indicates that U.S. farmers plan to plant 3.99 million more corn acres this year, pushing the total to 92.2 million acres. This is a 4.5% increase over 2010 acres and would be the second-highest number of acres planted since 1944. The largest increases in corn acres are in South Dakota (850,000 acres), North Dakota (450,000 acres), and Iowa (500,000 acres). Texas is expected to decrease corn acres by 150,000 acres. USDA’s Grain Stocks Report indicates continued strong demand for corn. As of March 1, corn stocks were estimated at 6.52 billion bushels, down 15% from March 1, 2010. Soybean planted acres for 2011 is estimated at 76.6 million acres, down 1% from 2010. Soybeans stocks as of March 1 were estimated at 1.25 billion bushels, down 2% from last year. The 2011 wheat acres are estimated at 58 million acres and cotton acres are at 12.6 million acres, 15% above last year.

Accelerate Farm Equipment Depreciation — Legislation has been introduced that would permanently set a five-year depreciation schedule for agricultural equipment. The current tax code sets a seven-year depreciation schedule. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Pat Roberts (R-KS).

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Missouri Groups Unite To Tell Agriculture's Story
To promote the hard work of Missouri farmers in being stewards of the land and taking pride in caring for their animals, several Missouri-based businesses announced the formation of a coalition, Missouri Farmers Care.

"Understanding the truth about modern agriculture, food production and farm life is important for all Missourians," says Don Nikodim, Missouri Farmers Care chair. "Missouri Farmers Care is committed to sharing the truth with Missouri families and how agriculture impacts their lives," he says.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
April 11-14, 2011: The 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) will be held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel in San Antonio, TX. The conference will explore the growing necessity of involving consumers as stakeholders in food production. A schedule of events, registration and hotel information is available at the NIAA website: www.animalagriculture.org, or call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for additional information.

May 5-6, 2011: Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 10th Annual Stakeholders Summit, “United We Eat: Securing Animal Agriculture’s Future,” The Westin Arlington Gateway hotel Arlington, VA. For more information contact: www.animalagalliance.org/register or (703) 562-5160 or summit@animalagalliance.org.



May 22-25, 2011: Alltech’s International Animal Health and Nutrition Industry Symposium, Lexington Convention Center, Lexington, KY. For more information contact: www.alltech.com/symposium.



FULL ARTICLE
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 BLUEPRINT

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. www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

"Weight Watchers" is the focus of the March 15 edition of National Hog Farmer. In this issue, pork producers learn that by doing a better job of picking the right market weight, they can add $3-5/pig in revenue. This issue also outlines eight factors to consider when making marketing decisions and how auto-sort systems challenge pigs' eating behavior. Go to www.nationalhogfarmer.com to view the issue.

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 POSTERS

FREE SELECTION GUIDES AND MANAGEMENT POSTERS
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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Join thousands of your peers for three days of learning, networking, training and fun at the 2011 World Pork Expo. From the world’s largest pork-specific trade show and America’s Best Genetics Alley, to lunch at the Big Grill, it’s all at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, June 8-10. Click here to register.

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