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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
January 2, 2012
 
In this issue:
  When Football and Hog Marketing Strategies Overlap
  Subclinical Ileitis Dominates On-Farm Cases
  Agricultural Issues Sure to Surface in 2012
  Using Less Bedding Can Benefit In-Transit Market Pigs

MARKET PREVIEW
When Football and Hog Marketing Strategies Overlap
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

For those of you who may not know, I am a loyal alumnus of Oklahoma State University. As such, the past few months have been a fun ride – save for that one evening when my other alma mater, Iowa State, played a wonderful game and pulled the college football season’s biggest upset. So, I was proud last night as the Cowboys won their Fiesta Bowl game in very improbable fashion. All of that is to preface the question “What can we learn about marketing hogs from the Cowboys?”

Lesson #1 – Inaction can dig a big hole. Sleep-walking through the first quarter left the Cowboys down 14-0. It is my observation that many hog producers do the same for any specific marketing period – frequently getting a late start and sometimes missing opportunities. There are some good reasons to not get too involved in Lean Hogs futures and options markets too far in the future. Liquidity in deferred futures contracts is low and the time value of deferred options is frequently very high.

But not getting “too involved” and not getting involved at all are two different things. Begin watching futures contracts as soon as they come on the board and watch them closely once the sows are bred to produce pigs for a given month. Further, don’t think you have to sell them all! If board margins look good for December next week, lock that margin in on some hogs and scale up as the year progresses. Always ask “Which is greater – the factors that could make markets fall or the factors that could make markets rise over the next [fill in the number] months?”

Lesson #2 – Climbing out of a hole is hard work and can take a while. The Pokes led once in last night’s game – when the overtime field goal sailed through the uprights. It took them more than 45 minutes to overcome the bad start, but they kept plugging away. Many hog producers see a bad start, especially in futures and options markets, and proclaim: “I’ll never do that again!” What’s worse, they seem to have memories like elephants when it comes to these bad outcomes. I’m the first to say we should learn from our mistakes, but it is vitally important to define “mistake.”

FULL ARTICLE

SWINE HEALTH PREVIEW
Subclinical Ileitis Dominates On-Farm Cases
By Fabio Vannucci, DVM; Albert Rovira, DVM and Connie Gebhart, University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Proliferative enteropathy (PE), commonly referred to as ileitis, is an infectious, enteric disease characterized by thickening of the intestinal mucosa. Within these proliferating cells is Lawsonia intracellularis, an intracellular bacterium.

Two clinical forms, acute hemorrhagic diarrhea and chronic intestinal adenomatosis, have been historically well described; however, a subclinical form is currently the most commonly reported. Subclinical cases are mainly characterized by intermittent fecal shedding of the bacteria associated with poor growth rates and variations in market weights.

The presence of this bacterium in the hostile intestinal microenvironment and the lack of specific cell-free media or broth to support its isolation/growth in the laboratory have challenged many bacteriologists over the years. Therefore, isolation of the bacterium from fecal samples has not been a feasible approach to diagnosing the infection in living pigs.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Agricultural Issues Sure to Surface in 2012
By P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

Congress and the Obama Administration will face a number of issues important to U.S. agriculture in 2012:

New Farm Bill – The 2012 farm bill tops the list of agricultural issues. With the failure of the deficit-reduction super committee to reach an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending, the House and Senate Agriculture Committee’s will begin, again, writing the new farm bill. The key issue will be funding. How much will the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have to cut from the current farm bill? It is estimated that at least $15 billion will be cut over 10 years – possibly more. Everyone will be waiting for the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) baseline which will be released in March. The baseline will indicate what the current farm bill is projected to cost in the future and it will be a key factor in determining how much funding will be available for the new farm bill. The committees are expected to begin holding hearings as early as February. The Senate Agriculture Committee has indicated it would like to have a bill passed by the committee this spring. Key issues during the farm bill debate will be commodity programs, crop insurance, conservation and nutrition.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Using Less Bedding Can Benefit In-Transit Market Pigs
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

In a new study funded by the Pork Checkoff, researchers at Texas Tech and Iowa State universities found that the pork industry can generally use less bedding year-round than it currently does while improving overall animal well-being – a breakthrough finding that could save the industry an estimated $10.1 million per year.

John McGlone, a swine researcher at Texas Tech University and principal researcher for the study, along with Anna Butters-Johnson, an Iowa State University researcher, looked at various rates of bedding in semi-trailers at different times of the year and in different locations throughout the Midwest. This approach provided data representing cold, mild and hot weather.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
January 18-19: Minnesota Pork Congress is slated for Jan. 18-19, 2012 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 18 and from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 19. For online registration, seminars, exhibitor listing, hotel information and maps, go to www.mnpork.com/porkcongress or call (800) 537-7675.

January 25-26: The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) will hold the 2012 Iowa Pork Congress Jan. 25 and 26 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines

March 19-21, 2012: Annual meeting of the Midwestern Sections of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science, Hy-Vee Hall and Veterans Memorial, Des Moines, IA. For more information contact: http://adsa.asas.org/midwest/2012.asp.



FULL ARTICLE
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 BLUEPRINT

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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 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

The December 15, 2011 edition of National Hog Farmer features over 20 research reports including sows’ response to several grouping options; alternative biofilter media to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions; how blast chilling inhibits pork tenderness; the impact of fatty acids in gestation diets; energy-saving alternatives for facilities; and the impact of a modified-live virus vaccine on PRRS shedding. Those articles and more are 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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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.
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