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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
August 8, 2011
 
In this issue:
  Critical Checkpoints are Consumer Outlook, Value of U.S. Dollar
  What is the Best Day to Wean Sows?
  Ag Committees Face Deadlines on the Debt Ceiling Initiative
  NPPC Opposes Legislation Limiting Marketing Contracts

MARKET PREVIEW
Critical Checkpoints are Consumer Outlook, Value of U.S. Dollar
No matter how much we would like to dwell on the level of pork and hog prices over the past two weeks, we must place our attention on the broader economy this week. Standard and Poor's downgrading of U.S. treasury debt on Friday has set up the equity markets for another rough go. The Dow is down over 500 points or 4.5% as of this writing (April 8).

As the old economist's adage goes: "Some of my friends say the market is going down, some say it is going up, and I am with my friends."

The truth is that no one knows how this might play out. There are several reasons for this level of uncertainty. First and foremost, we've never been here before. In our lifetimes, U.S. debt has been nothing but the highest rated. You know the line – "….the full faith and credit of the United States government." How will the markets, which are actually the collective actions of millions of economic agents, respond to something they have never witnessed before? Sure, the market has been anticipating this for some time with varying degrees of confidence, but anticipating something and acting on it are two different things. Today's sell-off is no surprise since markets almost always fall on bad news. How the news will be handled longer-term is the question.

FULL ARTICLE

PRODUCTION PREVIEW
What is the Best Day to Wean Sows?
A few weeks ago, a client asked us to review his production numbers and give him some suggestions on how to improve using the current labor pool.

Producers are putting more effort into saving more pigs in the farrowing area. One of the key challenges to this focus is keeping weekends fully staffed. With this in mind, we took a closer look at the day of the week sows are weaned and created a model that will help us look at the weaning question.

For the model, we selected 10 farms that represent over 17,000 sows. These are mature farms in the United States and Canada with different genetic makeups. All Parity 0 information was dropped from the dataset, and we used farms that do minimal or no inducing of sows before farrowing. The data represents the last six months of 2010. The combined average for pigs weaned/mated female/year averaged 25.23 and piglet survival was 79.9%. Remember that piglet survival is a combination of stillborns and preweaning death loss percentage taken from 100%.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Ag Committees Face Deadlines on the Debt Ceiling Initiative
Farm bill programs survived the first round of cuts under the debt ceiling agreement signed into law by President Obama. Now the focus turns to the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (three Democrats and three Republicans from both the Senate and the House of Representatives), which is to recommend specific savings of $1.5 trillion. Both federal programs and revenues may be considered by the committee. The committee is to report to Congress by Nov. 23; Congress needs to pass the recommendations by Dec. 23. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have until Oct. 14 to make their farm bill spending recommendations to the joint committee. No one knows at this time if we are talking $11 billion in cuts over 10 years or $48 billion in cuts for agriculture. If the committee fails to reach an agreement or Congress fails to implement the recommendations of the joint committee, then automatic spending cuts through sequesters kick in. All eyes will be on the special committee for the remainder of the year. Appointments to the committee are to take place by the middle of August.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
NPPC Opposes Legislation Limiting Marketing Contracts
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) opposes legislation introduced by Rep. Cynthia Lummis R-WY) that was introduced last week that would "target unfair meat packer practices and help restore a level playing field to independent livestock producers."

HR 2631, the "Livestock Marketing Fairness Act," which is identical to a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), would:

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
Aug. 7-10, 2011: The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting; The Galt House, Louisville, KY. For more information contact: www.asabe.org.

August 14 - 17, 2011: 7th International Conference on Boar Semen Preservation; Bonn, Germany. Check our website www.boarsemen2011.com for further information.

Aug. 18, 2011: George A. Young Swine Health and Management Conference, Marina Inn; South Sioux City, NE. For more information contact: http://vbms.unl.edu/web/.

Aug. 30, 2011: Carthage Veterinary Service Ltd. 21st Annual Swine Conference, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. For more information contact: http://www.hogvet.com/conf-overview.htm

Sept. 8, 2011: 11th Midwest Swine Nutrition Conference, Indiana Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis, IN. For more information contact: www.swinenutritionconference.com.

FULL ARTICLE

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 BLUEPRINT

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. www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

The July 15th edition of National Hog Farmer magazine features the 30th annual World Pork Expo New Product Tour. Our expert panel narrowed the field to eight "most promising products" displayed at the expansive trade show. Panelists explained their selections offered cost savings in key production areas and addressed animal care and comfort. Find this article and more at www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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NPPC’s grassroots organization trains industry stakeholders to tell the story of U.S. pork. As a LEADR you will help lawmakers understand how their decisions affect your business, your family, your community and your ability to provide consumers with safe, affordable and healthy pork. Click here to learn more.

 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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Organic acids, as Gut Environment Modifiers, have been a valuable nutritional tool in the grow-finish stage of pork production. Studies have shown that including Novus International’s ACTIVATE® DA nutritional feed-grade organic acid in grow-finish diets improves feed intake, gain, carcass weight, carcass grade premium and overall economic return.

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