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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
March 7, 2011
 
In this issue:
  Pork Forum Economics Topics
  Gauging the Effect of Returns on Farrowing Rate
  Groups Oppose Meat & Poultry Inspection Fees
  World Pork Expo Offers Many Varied Events

MARKET PREVIEW
Pork Forum Economics Topics
Last week’s National Pork Industry Forum, the gathering at which both the National Pork Board (NPB) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) hold their annual meetings, saw several discussions of economic issues. Most notable among them was action taken regarding negotiated hog sales, a recommended change to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) hog price reports and a discussion about the current and future level of the checkoff rate.

The action regarding the declining level of negotiated hog sales was a follow-up to discussion at last year’s Pork Forum during which a resolution to encourage producers to sell 10% of their hogs through negotiated trades was defeated. That resolution was introduced at the last minute in 2010, meaning that it had not gone through the normal vetting processes, both formal and informal. It is my opinion that some discomfort with the lack of normal process, not the substance of the resolution, was the reason for the resolution’s defeat in 2010.

The downward trend of negotiated sales as a percent of total barrow and gilt sales that caused last year’s concerns has continued (see Figure 1), reaching an all-time low of 2.7% for the week of Dec. 24, 2010 and averaging only 4.1% so far this year. This year’s resolution was quite simple: Encourage producers to sell and packers to buy more hogs through negotiated trades but remain opposed to any legal restrictions regarding how producers may sell or packers may buy. It passed on a voice vote.

FULL ARTICLE

PRODUCTION PREVIEW
Gauging the Effect of Returns on Farrowing Rate
Data from 22 farms in the Swine Management Services (SMS) database was used for this article. We used two specialized reports developed by SMS called the In-Depth Breeding Analysis Report and Breeding Technician Report to analyze the farms.

These reports give us detailed information about AI (artificial insemination) technicians, semen batches, sow parity, number of matings and services per female bred, time of day females are breed, day of week, etc. We use these reports with several of our customers to give them detailed feedback on AI technicians. It breaks down the current breeding protocols to review results, and then we make suggestions for making minor or major changes to the current protocols to improve farrowing rate.

In this article, we will focus on the effect the number of services a female is given before culling has on farrowing rate. The definition of a service is described as an estrus period that occurs every 18-25 days for open females. A second-service female is a female that was bred and returned to heat before farrowing and was rebred. We also list females with three-plus services that have been rebred after two returns to heat without farrowing.

Table 1 Farrowing Rate by Number of Services looks at 122,407 services from 22 sow farms which are different sizes, geographical locations and genetic companies. The data was broken out by parity for one service, two services and three-plus services. As you can see at these farms, the average farrowing rate was 85.6% for the 52 weeks of data. There was not a lot of variation in farrowing rate by parity except for Parity 0 females at 82.3%. In the data we review for producers who have the top farms for farrowing rates, we see a much higher farrowing rate for P0 females with several farms at 90%-plus farrowing rate. If your P0 farrowing rate is low, then you need to review development and breeding procedures on gilts. If you want to improve your overall farrowing rate, it starts with the gilts.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Groups Oppose Meat & Poultry Inspection Fees
A food and agriculture coalition has stated their opposition to the administration’s proposed “user fees” for mandatory inspection programs for meat, poultry and egg processors. The proposed fees are part of the administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012. In a letter to the congressional leadership, the groups stated, “In reality, these fees represent a food safety tax on consumers and not just a fee on processors. The proposed tax will make the current equitable funding mechanism inherently regressive, since low- and middle-income families spend a higher portion of their income on food than do wealthier Americans.”

“Furthermore, this proposal to transform government-funded food safety inspection programs provides less accountability for the government to manage program costs, results and efficiencies.” Those signing the letter included American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, American Sheep Industry Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
World Pork Expo Offers Many Varied Events
World Pork Expo, the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, offers many reasons to attend including the newest technologies, outstanding breeding stock and educational seminars to name a few.

The show is targeted for June 8-10, 2011 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA.

“Not only is World Pork Expo a must-see for swine-industry enthusiasts, but it also is one of the premier events in Iowa,” says Doug Fricke, World Pork Expo show manager. “Hotel rooms already are going fast, so making travel plans early means you won’t miss out on the chance to stay at one of the official World Pork Expo hotels.”

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
March 30 & 31, 2011: London Swine Conference, London Convention Centre, London, Ontario, Canada. Please check our official website www.boarsemen2011.com for further information and don't hesitate to contact us if you should have further questions.

April 11-14, 2011: The 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) will be held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel in San Antonio, TX. The conference will explore the growing necessity of involving consumers as stakeholders in food production. Topics include the food supply; food security; food safety; animal agriculture’s importance in the ecosystem; and effective ways to communicate with consumer stakeholders. A schedule of events, registration and hotel information is available at the NIAA website: www.animalagriculture.org, or call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for additional information.



May 22-25, 2011: Alltech’s International Animal Health and Nutrition Industry Symposium, Lexington Convention CenterLexington, KY. For more information contact: www.alltech.com/symposium.



FULL ARTICLE
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 BLUEPRINT

The October 15 Blueprint edition of National Hog Farmer provides guidelines for building a sound replacement gilt program, including nutritional considerations to maximize genetic potential and the importance of an effective herd health management program. In addition, the issue offers a special section on screening replacement gilt candidates for skeletal and reproductive soundness. www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

The January 15 edition of National Hog Farmer features an exclusive report from the largest livestock trade show in the European Union – EuroTier 2010 – staged in Hanover, Germany late last year. The special report includes a closer look at loose sow housing options, a profile of the German equipment and technology test center, plus a glimpse of some unique, energy saving features in a 1,000-sow, farrow-to-wean operation. Go to www.nationalhogfarmer.com to view the issue.

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NPPC and the National Pork Board have launched a program, We Care, to promote pork producers' commitment to responsible pork production. From animal care and the environment to food safety and quality, pork producers demonstrate best practices daily.
For more on continuing the tradition of doing what’s right, Click here


 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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