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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
January 9, 2012
 
In this issue:
  Ethanol Tax and Tariff Changes Likely to Affect DDGS Value
  A Four-Year Snapshot of Sow Productivity Trends
  Producer Groups Oppose Egg Production Agreement
  Checkoff Research Helps Wage War on PRRS

MARKET PREVIEW
Ethanol Tax and Tariff Changes Likely to Affect DDGS Value
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

To paraphrase the Munchkins, Queen Glinda and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – “Ding, dong the blenders’ tax credit is dead!” Both the blenders’ tax credit and the ethanol import tariff expired on Dec. 31. The tax credit, which allowed ethanol blenders to save 45 cents/gallon on each year’s tax bill, and the tariff, which added 54 cents/gallon to the price of any ethanol imported into the United States, were mainstays of the federal government’s three-legged policy that contributed to the meteoric growth of corn-based ethanol production from 2006 through 2010.

It appears that the ethanol business will finally have to deal with basic economics – sort of. The federal policy’s third leg, the renewable fuel standard, is still in place and will require ethanol blenders to use 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol this calendar year. But any move toward a more market-based situation is an improvement, right? Well, sort of.

FULL ARTICLE

PRODUCTION PREVIEW
A Four-Year Snapshot of Sow Productivity Trends
By Ron Ketchem and Mark Rix, Swine Management Services, Fremont, NE

As we start our third year of writing articles for the Weekly Preview, we thought it would be interesting to look at the production trends over the last four years. During that time frame, the number of farms in the Swine Management Services Farm Benchmarking database has grown from 344 to 754 and the number of breeding females has increased from 761,000 to 1,340,000. The farms, located in the United States and Canada, range in size from 200 to 8,000 breeding females. We are grateful to all the farms and companies that participate in the SMS Benchmarking and we look forward to further growth of our database.

At the outset, we wanted to see if the USDA’s 2% annual improvement of baby pigs produced was similar to the farms in our database. In fact, our data reflects the 2% improvement per year with a 7.9% improvement over four years in pigs weaned/mated female/year (PW/MF/Y) for all farms. Further, we separated the farms into the Top 10% (Group A), the Top 11-25% (Group B), the Top 26-50% (Group C) and the Bottom 50% (Group D).

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Producer Groups Oppose Egg Production Agreement
By P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

A coalition of livestock and general farm organizations are urging Congress to reject the egg production agreement between the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The agreement would mandate standards for egg production by transitioning from battery cages to “enriched” housing systems, including perches, nesting boxes and scratching areas. The new system would nearly double the current space provided for laying hens. Under the agreement, eggs produced that do not meet the new standards would not be allowed for sale in the United States. In a letter to the House Agriculture Committee, the groups said, “While we think this proposal is an unconscionable federal overreach, our gravest concern is that this precedent could leach into all corners of animal farming, irreparably damaging the livelihoods of family farmers across the country.” The coalition is also concerned that the new standards would increase cost by nearly $10 billion and would eliminate jobs. Those signing the letter include American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Egg Farmers of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Checkoff Research Helps Wage War on PRRS
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

While porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a formidable and costly enemy to fight, extensive research funded by the Pork Checkoff is helping the pork industry gain ground in the battle against this tenacious virus.

“The Pork Checkoff is committed to finding practical solutions to this very complex disease through investments in research,” says National Pork Board President Everett Forkner, who notes that the Checkoff recently mailed producers a copy of the 40-page PRRS Initiative Research 2004-2011 report. “Whether it’s looking at the real-time challenges, such as the implementation of regional elimination, or long-term issues, such as determining genetic resistance to PRRS, Checkoff is involved on the frontlines of research on producers’ behalf.”

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

February 2-3: For the third year in a row, the North Carolina Pork Conference, hosted by the North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC), will be held in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Feb. 2-3, 2012. A block of rooms is reserved at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley for the conference; call (800) 228-9290 or (919) 781-7000.

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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NPPC conducts public-policy outreach on behalf of its 43 state associations, enhancing opportunities for the success of U.S. pork producers and stakeholders by establishing the pork industry as a consistent and responsible supplier of high-quality pork to domestic and world markets. Click here to learn more and support your industry.


 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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