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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
July 4, 2011
In this issue:
  Corn Crop Looks Very Good on Paper
  Mycoplasma hyorhinis - Should We Care?
  USDA Economist Challenged on GIPSA Rule
  New Report Sets Priorities for Next-Generation Disease Screening

Corn Crop Looks Very Good on Paper
To say that last week’s Grain Stocks and Acreage reports from USDA were a surprise would be a bit of an understatement. Both reports were about as bearish as we can remember, especially against a backdrop of planting woes and serious concerns about the number of acres that may be harvested this fall.

Figure 1 shows the data from last week’s reports and the sharp differences between the June 30 estimates and those of the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), as well as analysts’ expectations. Corn acres, at 92.28 million, were above the highest estimates among the analysts surveyed and represent a 5% increase compared to last year.

In addition, USDA reported that producers expect to harvest 84.9 million acres of corn, 4% more than last year. That is the number, of course, that will truly drive the size of this year’s crop, and the number that is very uncertain at present given flooding problems and the amount of late-planted corn. As can be seen in Figure 2, USDA’s estimate that 91.7% of corn acres will be harvested is not at all out of line with historical harvest rates. But the question of this year’s extenuating circumstances remains.


Mycoplasma hyorhinis - Should We Care?
Bacterial diseases have a significant economic impact in today’s swine industry by causing an increase in mortality rates and a reduction in feed efficiency and growth.

Systemic bacterial infections are a major cause of mortality in nursery pigs. Polyserositis, the fibrin coating on the surface of multiple organs, is the gross lesion observed frequently with systemic bacterial infections (Figure 1). The bacterium Haemophilus parasuis is typically considered the main cause of polyserositis.

However, during the last few years, we have identified another bacterium, Mycoplasma hyorhinis, as the main cause of polyserositis in many cases. In fact, 55% of polyserositis and 12% of arthritis cases received at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory test positive for this pathogen by polymerase chain reaction or PCR (Figure 2). Many of these pigs are actually coinfected with H. parasuis and M. hyorhinis. Although M. hyorhinis was first described in 1955, since then very little research has been generated regarding the epidemiology of this organism, which is needed to design effective control and prevention protocols.


USDA Economist Challenged on GIPSA Rule
The Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the livestock industry was dominated by a discussion of the proposed Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule. Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) took direct aim at USDA regarding the proposal and its disregard for congressional intent. There was a great deal of discussion on the provision of lowering the legal threshold and how this would result in “frivolous” lawsuits and cause companies to reduce the use of marketing arrangements. USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber said he and his team are reviewing earlier economic studies on the industry and would take them into account when completing USDA’s economic analysis of the proposal. Glauber indicated that the proposed rule would now be considered economically significant (costing over $100 million). This places a higher threshold on the rule.


New Report Sets Priorities for Next-Generation Disease Screening
A new report from the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD) at Texas A&M University identifies a number of priorities for developing the next generation of disease-screening tools for livestock, milk and other products.

The report is based on data compiled from U.S. agricultural industry leaders and top scientists specializing in contagious animal diseases.

“This collaboration between industry, science and policy marks a significant step toward developing and utilizing screening technologies for high consequence disease detection,” says Tammy Beckham, director of the FAZD Center. “To best meet the needs of our end-users and stakeholders, new screening tools should fit easily into day-to-day business operations and support business continuity during an outbreak situation.”

The report, “Enhancing Ag Resiliency: the Agricultural Industry Perspective of Utilizing Agricultural Screening Tools,” is available at

The report is the result of a recent workshop convened by the Department of Homeland Security and the FAZD Center. Those participating included foreign animal and emerging disease diagnostic experts from the United States and the United Kingdom, plus leaders from the nation’s beef, dairy, pork, poultry, sheep and goat industries.


July 7, 2011: "Managing Your Unseen Employee: The Ventilation System," Borlaug Learning Center, Nashua, IA. For more information contact: Mark Storlie at (563) 425-3331 or e-mail

July 16-19, 2011: American Veterinary Medical Association Annual Convention, America’s Center
downtown St. Louis, MO. For more information contact:

July 19, 2011: The 2011 Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open, Veenker Memorial Golf Course, Ames, IA. For more information contact: Iowa Pork Industry Center at or (515) 294-4103. The registration form is on the Iowa Pork Industry Center Web site,

July 20, 2011: North American Manure Expo, Northeast Community College's Ag Complex, Norfolk, NE. For more information contact: Expo Planning Co-Chairs Chris Henry at (402) 472-6529 or or Leslie Johnson at (402) 584-3818 or Also see the website for more details

July 29, 2011: Fourth Annual Pork Lenders Meeting, Country Inn Suites, Mankato, MN. For more information contact: Minnesota Pork Board Assistant Executive Director Jeremy Geske at (800) 537-7675 or

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The April 15, 2011 Blueprint edition of National Hog Farmer offers details on creating stable herd health by developing a herd health profile, provides a review of basic immunology and gives details on how to select the right vaccine. The final article looks at efforts by a consortium of swine disease researchers to understand genetic disease resistance.

U.S. pork producers must be able to compete in foreign markets without restrictive tariffs or sanitary barriers to trade. NPPC’s mission of gaining and expanding access to markets through free trade agreements is paramount to the continued success of the U.S. pork industry — Click here to learn more.


The June 15, 2011 edition of National Hog Farmer magazine focuses on the industry’s workforce with articles on how to build a farm culture, hire foreign workers and reverse turnover rates in a 90,000-sow system. A major feature looks at high feed costs and new waste management standards facing pork producers in North Carolina. Find these stories and more at

Newport Laboratories offers ParaSail®, the swine industry's first avirulent live, single-dose vaccine for Haemophilus parasuis. ParaSail is backed by more than five years of research and development. The USDA has approved ParaSail as a 1mL IM product in pigs 21 days of age or over. For more information visit


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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