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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
November 7, 2011
In this issue:
  Pork-Related GIPSA Rules Remain in Limbo
  Parity Effects on Pigs Weaned
  Leaders Want Russia Held to High Standard in WTO
  Illinois Farm Economics Summit Probes Profitability in Turbulent Times

Pork-Related GIPSA Rules Remain in Limbo
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

There was finally some news last week on the status of the rule that USDA's Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards (GIPSA) proposed back in June 2010. It appears that the most onerous of those proposals, at least for the pork and beef industries, are being put in a holding pattern. Some observers think the hold may be very long. Here is what we know of the current status.

A final rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding four of the five topics for which GIPSA was required to write rules by the 2008 Farm Bill. The four areas deal with timely delivery of birds to contract growers, criteria under which requirements of additional capital investments will be in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA), required allowances for contractors to remedy a breach of contract, and conditions for including mandatory arbitration clauses and opt-out procedures. OMB will review the rules over the next 45 days. When they are done, the rules will go into force 60 days later.

All of these topics are aimed at problems in poultry contracts. We know of few instances where hog contractors and contract growers have had any significant disputes over these topics. The hog contracting system is built on long-term relationships that have generally adapted easily to change.


Parity Effects on Pigs Weaned
By Mark Rix and Ron Ketchem, Swine Management Services, LLC

In this follow-up to our last column, "The Effect of Parity on Weaned Pig Average," (Oct. 19, 2011 Weekly Preview posted at, we will again use the 94 farms selected from the Swine Management Services database. These farms are located in the United States and Canada, have 20+ weaned pigs/mated female/year (PW/MF/Y) for the last 52 weeks, and have a mature female parity structure. Several different genetic lines are represented. The database includes 222,362 sows, with a farm average of 2,365 females.

For the last 52 weeks, these 94 farms averaged 25.70 PW/MF/Y. The top 21 farms, averaging 3,129 females, averaged more than 27 PW/MF/Y.

This article will focus on reproductive traits, broken out by parity, such as wean-to-first service interval, percent repeat services, percent multiple matings and percent farrowing rate.


Leaders Want Russia Held to High Standard in WTO
P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee are urging U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to insist that Russia meet a high standard. This focus is intended to promote U.S. jobs and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses and workers in the negotiations for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the leaders raised these areas of concern:

• Russia's protection of intellectual property rights, which are critical to U.S. industry and jobs;

• Recent reports questioning Russia's commitment to join the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), one of the most successful WTO agreements that provides duty-free treatment to a vast array of information and communications technology (ICT) products, with tremendous benefits to the innovative U.S. high technology sector, as well as the many U.S. industries that use ICT to enhance their productivity and competitiveness at home and abroad;


Illinois Farm Economics Summit Probes Profitability in Turbulent Times
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

Understanding market volatility, profitability outlook and management challenges will be themes of the 2011 Illinois Farm Economics Summit, "The Profitability of Illinois Agriculture: Managing in a Turbulent World."

Sessions are being held in five locations in December: Dec. 12 at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL; Dec. 13 at the Center for Agriculture in Sycamore, IL; Dec. 14 at the Best Western Prairie Inn in Galesburg, IL; Dec. 15 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon, IL, and Dec. 16 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, IL.


Nov. 8, 2011: University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program, Stoney Creek Inn, Columbia, MO. For registration information, contact Travis Dixon of the University of Missouri Conference Office, (573) 882-6059 or; for information on the program or speakers, contact Katrina Turner at the Commercial Agriculture Program, or (573) 882-0378.

Nov. 8-9, 2011: International Conference on Feed Efficiency in Swine/Qwest Center, Hilton Hotel, Omaha, NE. For more information contact:

Nov. 10-11, 2011: 2011 Swine Disease Conference for Swine Practitioners, Scheman Building, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. For more information contact: Registration Services at (515) 294-6222 or visit

Nov. 15-16: 34th Annual Pork Industry Symposium, Saskatoon Inn, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. For more information contact:

Nov. 17, 2011: Kansas State University Swine Day, KSU Alumni Center, Manhattan, KS. For more information contact: (785) 532-1267 or

Nov. 17-18, 2011: Employee Management Conference, Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel, West Des Moines, IA. For more information contact: call (800) 456-PORK for registration information or go to




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 October 15, 2011 Blueprint edition of National Hog Farmer tackles the new industry target of 30 pigs/sow/year (P/S/Y). As producers strive to achieve the lofty milestone, new challenges and new debates arise. With the push to increase reproductive efficiency, the health and dietary demands on sows becomes increasingly important, the impact on pig flow and facilities is magnified, and the bar to capture full genetic potential is raised. This special edition and more is posted at

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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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