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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
February 20, 2012
In this issue:
  Year-End Consumption Data is Good News for Pork
  Supply Driven Pork and Beef Markets Hold Promise
  Meat Companies and Restaurants Asked to Release Antibiotic Policies
  NPPC Opposes Canada’s Inclusion in Trade Group
  Career Opportunities

Year-End Consumption Data is Good News for Pork
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

The export data highlighted in last week’s report was the last piece of data needed to compute actual domestic per capita consumption and, thus, the demand indexes for December and for 2011.

The news for pork was good indeed. Ditto for beef. For chicken, not so much. Figure 1 shows the familiar chart of demand indexes since 1970. Remember, these are indexes, so they represent status of demand for each species relative to its level in the base year, 1985. In addition, remember that this is domestic per capita demand – it does not include exports. It represents the collective demand from a stable population; therefore, the positive demand impacts of population growth are removed. That growth, historically, has been about 0.8% per year, but growth slowed to 0.7% in 2010 and 2011, primarily due to the recession.

Beef and pork demand increased last year by 0.9% and 1.0%, respectively. Chicken demand fell by 0.9%.


Supply Driven Pork and Beef Markets Hold Promise
By Kent Bang, AgStar Financial Services, Mankato, MN

By all expectations, 2012 is shaping up to be a very good year for U.S. pork producers, following a two-year recovery period. Many are still rebuilding. Even with historically high cost of production, we seem to be in a demand market scenario, which is giving producers an opportunity to lock in some very good returns for the remainder of the year.

I believe the market has factored in key items that drive the futures prices being offered. How those play out over the coming year will reveal how the market will respond relative to current futures levels.

USDA is projecting pork supplies to increase by 1.3% in 2012. This would seem to be a manageable supply if pigs grow normally during the summer and we don’t get them bunched up in the final quarter of the year. USDA projections estimate that exports will be off by 2% in 2012, still giving us a manageable increase in domestic pork supply of 2.2%. Figure 1 provides a long-term and a short-term forward look at domestic pork supplies by reducing U.S. pork production by the export volume, net of pork imports. The critical message here is the significant reduction in pork supplies from 2009 to 2011, mostly due to growth in pork exports; 2011 was the smallest domestic supply of pork available in more than 10 years, which gave us record high average pig prices.


Meat Companies and Restaurants Asked to Release Antibiotic Policies
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent a letter to over 60 fastfood companies, producers, processors and grocery chains asking them to disclose their policies on antibiotic use in meat and poultry production. Slaughter is also asking that the companies release the percentage of meat produced with and without antibiotics and information on any restrictions on antibiotic use.

In a statement, she stated, “Very simply, consumers have a right to know what's in their food. It's like that old commercial, 'Where's the beef?' We just want to know what's in the beef. The United States is facing a growing public health crisis in the form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Information about how these companies are contributing to its rise or resolution should be available to consumers.”

Since 2007, Slaughter has introduced legislation, The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), to ban (prevention, control, growth promotion) the use of antibiotics for animals except for treatment when the animal is sick.


NPPC Opposes Canada’s Inclusion in Trade Group
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) met with Canada this past week to discuss the inclusion of Canada in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.

The senior-level bilateral consultation marked one of several talks held between the two trading giants since the Canadian prime minister’s indication in November 2011 of interest in joining the TPP. That month, leaders of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States announced the achievement of broad outlines of a trade partnership.


February 23 - 24: Michigan Professional Pork Producers Symposium, Lansing, MI. Go to for more information.

March 6: Iowa Pork Regional Conferences, Carroll, IA. Pre-register by calling the Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or sending an e-mail to

March 7: Iowa Pork Regional Conferences, Sheldon, IA. Pre-register by calling the Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or sending an e-mail to

March 8: Iowa Pork Regional Conferences, Nashua, IA. Pre-register by calling the Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or sending an e-mail to

March 9: Iowa Pork Regional Conferences, Iowa City, IA. Pre-register by calling the Iowa Pork Producers Association at (800) 372-7675 or sending an e-mail to

March 19-21: 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:


Career Opportunities

Pork Production Service Manager
The Maschhoffs, a leader in the food production industry, is looking for 2 Service Managers to develop and lead a team of Site Managers in pork production operations located in Pittsfield, IL & Bethany MO.
• Develop leadership and enhance production, technical and organizational skills through goal setting and performance mgmt.
• Ensure good production through the development, implementation and oversight of standard operating procedures.
• A high school diploma or GED; BS in Animal Science preferred.
• 5+ years swine production experience leading people.
• Excellent leadership skills; Ability to travel overnight 15-30%.
Includes benefits, a company vehicle, & competitive salary. EOE

Apply online at to requisition# 6761 & 6901.

AS LOW AS $5.34


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

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.


As pork producers and swine nutritionists explore alternative feed ingredients to replace corn as an energy source in swine diets, packers are keeping a closer eye on the impact these substitutes have on carcass fat quality, pliability and consumer preferences. The Feb. 15 edition of National Hog Farmer also features a special report on the importance of vitamin D for pig health and wellness. These and more features can also be found at



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.

The PigTek® Pig Equipment Group can help supply the feeding system tools pig producers need for maximizing feeding efficiency and for gaining management flexibility. This collection of well-known brands – Chore-Time®, Laake®, Mannebeck® and Porcon® – offers a combined total of over 200 years of success in the pig production industry.
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