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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
December 12, 2011
In this issue:
  A Closer Look at the GIPSA Final Rules
  China's Boost in Pork Imports Driven by Many Factors
  Final GIPSA Rule Published
  NPPC Requests Extension On CAFO Reporting Rule

A Closer Look at the GIPSA Final Rules
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

Today's Legislative Preview addresses USDA's Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) issuance of final rules covering four of the five topics the agency was charged to address by the 2008 Farm Bill. One of those topics - the conditions under which a poultry contractor is provided with reasonable notice of the suspension of delivery of birds - is clearly just a poultry issue. The other three, however, could easily impact hog production contractors and growers, as well as hog producers and packers engaged in marketing contracts.

It should be noted that hardly any of the GIPSA final rules actually state what you can and cannot do. They merely list the criteria that the Secretary of Agriculture can consider in deciding whether a practice is a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) of 1920, but there is no guidance regarding the "acceptable" manner of addressing the criteria.

Further, the final rule does not specify exactly which part of the PSA the various actions would violate. We believe they would virtually all be considered violations of PSA's Section 202 - prohibition of unfair practices. But it doesn't really say that anywhere that we can find.

The Final Rule, which can be found at by clicking on "Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the ...," specified that the criteria regarding the fairness of a required additional capital investment during the life of a contract would apply to any requirement of $12,500 or more per building. The proposed rule said $25,000, but did not have the "per building" caveat. That level of investment still appears pretty low, even on a per building basis. The definition, though, does contain an explicit exception for costs of maintenance and repair, apparently limiting the criteria to true improvements and allowing contractors to insist that buildings be kept in good condition.


China's Boost in Pork Imports Driven by Many Factors
By Jim Herlihy, U.S. Meat Export Federation, Denver, CO

Lingering disease issues and an ongoing exit of small hog farmers from China's industry have boosted demand for pork imports this year. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of pork, explains long-time China observer Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific.

Lower supplies have boosted prices, leading to both Chinese government purchases of pork for its reserves and private industry buying. This year's strong overseas buying has been counter to year-ago forecasts, which foresaw larger production based on high industry profitability, Haggard says.

Through the first 10 months of this year, China's direct pork and pork variety meat imports were up 49% to more than 1 million metric tons (2.2 billion pounds), with the United States accounting for more than 59% of import volume, while imports were sharply lower from Denmark and Canada. Those imports of U.S. pork were valued at nearly $859 million, according to the Global Trade Atlas.


Final GIPSA Rule Published
By P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

USDA published the final GIPSA rule regarding livestock and poultry marketing as required by the 2008 farm bill. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, "While concentration certainly comes with some efficiencies, Congress recognized in the 2008 Farm Bill that additional protections for producers are warranted. Today's rule will implement these targeted protections and help provide more fairness and transparency in the marketplace." The rule includes criteria the secretary may consider when determining:

• Whether a live poultry dealer has provided reasonable notice to poultry growers of any suspension of the delivery of birds:

• Whether a requirement of additional capital investments over the life of a poultry growing arrangement or swine production contract constitutes a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act;

• If a packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer has provided a reasonable period of time for a grower to remedy a breach of contract that could lead to termination of a production contract, and


NPPC Requests Extension On CAFO Reporting Rule
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has requested a 60-day extension to Feb. 20, 2012 to file comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) reporting rule.

The original proposal was published Oct. 21 with a 60-day comment period (deadline of Dec. 20.). It would require CAFOs to submit to EPA operational information so it "can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health."

Under the proposal, EPA will impose a duty to report information including basic facility facts such as contact information, location of a CAFO's production area, permit status, the number and type of animals confined and the number of acres available for land application of manure.


Dec. 14, 2011: Illinois Farm Economics Summit, Best Western Prairie Inn, Galesburg, IL. For more information contact:

Dec. 14, 2011: 4th Annual Passion for Pigs Seminar & Trade Show, Holiday Inn Select Executive Center, Columbia, MO. For more information contact: Julie A. Lolli, executive coordinator, (660) 651-0570 or

Dec. 15, 2011: Illinois Farm Economics Summit, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL. For more information contact:

Dec. 16, 2011: Illinois Farm Economics Summit, Doubletree Hotel, Bloomington, IL. For more information contact: http://farmdoc.illinois/edu/ifes/2011/index.html.

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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.



The November 15, 2011 edition of National Hog Farmer takes a hard look at porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), the most costly disease in the global swine industry. This edition profiles production systems that have eliminated the persistent virus, plus guidance on keeping the pesky disease out. This edition and more are posted at

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.


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.

"Documented effects of Levucell® SB include the ability to improve digestive transit which in turn helps the sow get on feed quicker the first week of lactation and increases feed intake through lactation, which helps reduce sow weight loss and produces heavier piglets at weaning. Studies show sows fed Levucell SB have fewer days to estrus."


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