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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
November 21, 2011
 
In this issue:
  COOL Ruling Could Impact Pork Exports
  MF Global Collapse Not on the Radar
  Congress Limits Implementation of the GIPSA Rule
  Texas Town Vows to Keep its Name at
Thanksgiving Despite Pleas from PETA

MARKET PREVIEW
COOL Ruling Could Impact Pork Exports
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

The World Trade Organization (WTO) made official on Friday its finding that the United States' country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law violates WTO rules. The WTO panel commented on two separate issues: The actual U.S. statutory provisions and a letter issued by Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack that suggested voluntary labeling procedures that were more restrictive than the actual USDA rules.

The panel found that the COOL program is a technical regulation that is "inconsistent with the United States' WTO obligations," since it accords less favorable treatment to imported Canadian cattle and hogs than to like domestic products. Further, the panel found that COOL does not fulfill its legitimate objective of providing consumers with information on origin. Both factors constitute violations of WTO rules.

The Vilsack letter's suggestions for voluntary action, according to the panel, go beyond certain obligations under the COOL program and, thus, are an unreasonable administration of COOL.

As noted, the ruling dealt with Canada's challenge to the COOL law and resulting regulations. Canada was later joined by a number of other countries that export products covered under COOL, including important pork markets Japan, Mexico, Korea, China, Australia and Taiwan.

FULL ARTICLE

FINANCIAL PREVIEW
MF Global Collapse Not on the Radar
By Mark Greenwood, AgStar Financial Services

Most of you, as producers, have heard or been affected by the MF Global Holdings, Ltd. bankruptcy. For any producer or brokerage firm who used MF Global as its clearinghouse, the last couple weeks have been a nightmare. Many of us remain in a state of disbelief. MF Global filed bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2011, and over the course of the next week, there was a series of emails and news stories all trying to dissect what was going to happen. Producers’ excess cash, not their entire initial margin, was at risk. We have a fair amount of producers who were affected by this bankruptcy, so we received many phone calls with clients to discuss options. In addition, we held several internal meetings to conduct scenario planning and to determine how much margin money was needed to fully fund accounts that were being transferred. It was a long week for producers and a long week for many team members at AgStar. Clients have often expressed their disbelief and feelings of disgust about the bankruptcy. I can empathize with producers because this risk was not on our radar screen. As the events unfolded, producers’ initial margins were almost fully funded and the shortfall was not as extreme as we once thought it might be. Unfortunately, to date, producers are still short some funds.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Congress Limits Implementation of the GIPSA Rule
By P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

The fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations bill passed by Congress places limitations on the USDA’s proposed Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) livestock marketing rule. The appropriations conference report limits USDA to only finalizing various provisions contained in the 2008 Farm Bill (arbitration, notice of contract termination, capital investments and breach of contract). The appropriations bill prohibits the proposed Poultry Tournament Interim Final Rule from moving forward. The language also stops USDA from advancing a subsequent rule related to competitive injury, unfair practices, scope of injury and undue preference. It is expected that these competition issues will resurface during the 2012 farm bill debate.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Texas Town Vows to Keep its Name at
Thanksgiving Despite Pleas from PETA

By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

The town of Turkey, TX, has pushed back against a request by officials of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to change the name of their town during this Thanksgiving.

PETA has recently released ads to make people feel guilty about eating turkey this Thanksgiving and has created a clever ad of a "turkey dog" and asked if you wouldn't eat your dog, why would you eat a turkey?

PETA says that turkeys may not be as familiar to us as dogs or cats, but they have the same ability to suffer and are sensitive, curious creatures.

This ad was directed to get kids to stop eating turkey, but a letter was also sent to the mayor of the tiny town of Turkey, TX (population 421 in the 2010 census) asking him to change the town's name to "Tofurky" for Thanksgiving Day. In exchange, PETA promises to provide a "healthy, vegan holiday feast for all of the town's residents."

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
Dec. 1-2, 2011: National Swine Improvement Federation Annual Meeting, Lincoln, NE. For information contact Jim Schneider at jim.schneider@ars.usda.gov

Dec. 2-3, 2011: International PRRS Symposium, Chicago Marriott Downtown, Chicago, Il. Contact: http://www.prrssymposium.org.

Dec. 6, 2011: Midwest Pork Conference, Hendricks County Conference Complex, Danville, IN. For more information contact: http://www.indianapork.com.

Dec. 6, 2011: Risk Management Educational Seminar, Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon, IA. For more information contact: Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or Tyler Bettin at tbettin@iowapork.org.

Dec. 7, 2011: Risk Management Educational Seminar, The Borlaug Learning Center, Iowa State University Northeast Research Farm, Nashua, IA. For more information contact: Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or Tyler Bettin at tbettin@iowapork.org.

Dec. 8, 2011: Risk Management Educational Seminar, Johnson County Extension Office, Iowa City, IA. For more information contact: Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or Tyler Bettin at tbettin@iowapork.org.

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 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 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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The Strategic Investment Program (SIP) is the primary source of funds for the National Pork Producers Council. As an investor, you will help NPPC fight for reasonable legislation and regulation, develop revenue and market opportunities and protect livelihoods. SIP investors have a voice in NPPC policy development. Learn more.

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