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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
October 3, 2011
 
In this issue:
  Modified Grain Stocks Report Offers a Golden Opportunity
  Understanding Central Nervous System Signs and Their Causes
  More Robust Animal ID/Traceability Program Needed to Stay Competitive
  Pork Outlook Brightens For The Coming Year

EDITOR'S NOTE
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to mail this week's National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview on Monday as planned. We apologize for the inconvenience.


MARKET PREVIEW
Modified Grain Stocks Report Offers a Golden Opportunity
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

USDA’s Grain Stocks report, released on Friday, was a pretty big shock to the grain trade as it indicated substantially larger Sept. 1 corn stocks than the trade expected. The key numbers for corn, soybeans and wheat appear in Figure 1.

USDA’s estimate that 1.128 billion bushels of corn remained in bins at the beginning of the month was 17% higher than the average pre-report estimate and was over 7% above the highest estimate offered by any respondent to Dow Jones’ pre-report survey. While still 34% lower than last year, the number represents 166 million more bushels available to corn users next year and implies that $7-plus corn did indeed ration uses during late summer months.

There will be a lot of opinions regarding just who it was that blinked in July and August. Margin estimates show that there was little reason for ethanol usage to fall. Weekly data indicate that the pace of corn exports, which had been lagging behind 2010 levels since April, lagged even further right at the end of the marketing year. This suggests that export buyers did indeed respond negatively to higher prices and the stronger U.S. dollar. But the weekly data say that exports finished the year higher than USDA’s September estimate of 1.65 billion bushels.

FULL ARTICLE

SWINE HEALTH PREVIEW
Understanding Central Nervous System Signs and Their Causes
By Kent Schwartz, DVM, Iowa State University

Good observers in pig barns will often see pigs “not acting right.” This may involve individual animals or often will appear as outbreaks that involve many pigs. Although good clinical assessment is invaluable for establishing a proper diagnosis, it is often a challenge to sort out and effectively describe the subtle behavioral changes or clinical observations associated with central nervous system (CNS) signs.

Often, the observer lumps the clinical signs into terms that indicate something is wrong, but these terms may not be accurate or descriptive for what is actually wrong. Examples of terms that can mean many different things to different people include: “strep pigs,” “CNS pigs” or “downer pigs.”

To better establish an accurate diagnosis, more descriptive terms are helpful. Some examples of useful terms include: blind, uncontrolled eye movements, aware of surroundings, paddling movements, coma (unaware), tremors, seizures, incoordination, weakness, squealing or some evidence of pain. Being very specific in describing abnormal activity or behavior can help to narrow the long list of possible causes for these types of conditions (Table 1).

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
More Robust Animal ID/Traceability Program Needed to Stay Competitive
P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) released a study showing the U.S. beef and pork industries will lose millions of dollars in exports if the United States does not implement a more robust animal identification (ID) system to compete with countries that have more extensive animal ID and traceability systems. The study, “Economic Assessment of Evolving Red Meat Export Market Access Requirements for Traceability of Livestock and Meat,” assesses the potential impact on U.S. producers and processors as the thinking about animal ID and traceability evolves in leading export markets. Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Uruguay have animal ID/traceability systems in place. The United States and India are the only two major beef exporters that do not have mandatory traceability systems. The study looked at the loss of access for both beef and pork exports markets as a result of not expanding domestic traceability in the U.S. beef and pork industries. The study estimated the beef industry would lose $1.8 billion and the pork industry would lose $518 million over a 10-year period if the United States fails to expand domestic traceability. The study was conducted by Kansas State University, Colorado State University and Montana State University.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Pork Outlook Brightens For The Coming Year
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

Finally, pork producers have some positive news that has increased optimism for greater profitability in the coming year, says a Purdue University agricultural economist.

“That good news came from USDA in two forms. The first was the September Hogs and Pigs report which indicated little change in the size of the breeding herd. The second was the feed-price lowering impacts of higher-than-expected corn inventories revealed in the September Grain Stocks report,” says Chris Hurt.

The combination of stronger hog prices and lower feed prices has put the pork outlook back into solid black for the coming year, he says.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
Oct. 8, 2011: Workshop for Beginning Hog Farmers, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN. For more information contact: Wayne Martin at (612) 625-6224 or marti067@umn.edu.

Oct. 19-20, 2011: The American Meat Institute Foundation Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry; Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, MO. For more information contact: http://meatami.com/ht/d/sp/i/11948/pid/11948.

Oct. 26-27, 2011: Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose, Hotel InterContinental O’Hare, Chicago, IL. For more information contact: National Institute for Animal Agriculture, www.animalagriculture.org or (719) 538-8843.

Oct. 27-28, 2011: Latinos in Agriculture: A Leaders’ Forum on Capitalizing Hispanic Talent El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX; (http://latinosinagriculture.org/leaders-forum/hotel-info/). For more information contact: Orlando Gil at (712) 240-0624.

Nov. 1-2, 2011: Meat and Poultry Research Conference, Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO; To view the full agenda, go to http://www.meatami.com/ht/d/sp/i/69917/pid/69917. To register, go to http://www.meatami.com/ht/d/sp/i/69917/pid/69917 or contact AMI’s Vice President of Education and Professional Development Marie Ternieden, at MTernieden@meatami.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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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.


 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

The Sept. 15, 2011 National Hog Farmer magazine takes a hard look at mitigating swine manure odors, EPA’s push to regulate CAFOs, new technology for curbing dust in hog barns, and a special report on the 2011 Environmental Stewards award winners. Find these articles and video clips of the 2011 Environmental Stewards at www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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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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