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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
February 27, 2012
 
In this issue:
  Understanding How Ethanol Impacts Food Prices
  Catching a Fastidious Bug: Mycoplasma Pneumonia
  Korea FTA Effective March 15
  Consumers Will Come Back to Pork
  Career Opportunities

MARKET PREVIEW
Understanding How Ethanol Impacts Food Prices
By Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., Des Moines, IA

I’ve been forced to examine my biases over the past few weeks. The examination of conscience was driven by an invitation to speak to the Renewable Fuels Association’s National Ethanol Conference last week as part of a food vs. fuel debate.

Suffice it to say, I was not on the fuel side. I now know how Daniel felt as he contemplated the lion’s den – though my experience at the RFA conference ended up no worse than did Daniel’s “dinner” appointment courtesy of King Darius. The RFA staff and conference audience were gracious though, I think, not convinced. I just hope they are considering a few different ideas.

The experience tells me that many of you might need some ideas on how to point out the impact that corn-based ethanol has had on your businesses and, now, on customers for your products.

FULL ARTICLE

SWINE HEALTH PREVIEW
Catching a Fastidious Bug: Mycoplasma Pneumonia
By Maria Pieters, DVM, Albert Rovira, DVM, and Tom Molitor. University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Diagnostic laboratories routinely receive requests to culture bacterial agents. However, not all types of bacteria are cultivable or grown the same way. Some species are especially difficult to culture under laboratory conditions.

Mycoplasma pneumonia (Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae), a very small bacterium, is one of those fastidious pathogens that challenges and frustrates bacteriologists, mainly due to very slow growth, special media requirements and overgrowth by other bacterial species. Because of these features, and the fact that other diagnostic tools for pathogen detection have been developed (e.g. molecular-based tests like polymerase chain reaction or PCR), bacterial isolation of mycoplasma constitutes a test rarely offered by veterinary laboratories around the world.

Still, mycoplasma is a very important pig pathogen that causes enzootic pneumonia, which is characterized by a chronic dry cough and predisposes animals to respiratory infections caused by secondary bacteria or viruses. Under certain circumstances or in specific clinical cases, obtaining a mycoplasma isolate is desirable – for biological product development, for example – but options to culture this bacterium do not abound.

FULL ARTICLE

LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW
Korea FTA Effective March 15
By P. Scott Shearer, Bockorny Group, Washington DC

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has announced the effective date of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (FTA) will be March 15. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. agricultural exports will become duty-free.

Tariffs on pork exports currently at 22.5% to 25% will be phased out over two years beginning on Jan.1, 2014. Tariffs on U.S. beef will go from 40% to zero over 15 years. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that after full implementation of the agreement, U.S. agricultural exports will increase $1.8 billion per year.

The trade agreement is becoming an issue in Korea parliamentary election (April) and presidential election (December) this year. The opposing party, the Democratic United Party, is vowing to repeal or at a minimum revise various sections of the agreement. This action will be difficult because the United States would have to agree.

FULL ARTICLE

NEWS FLASH
Consumers Will Come Back to Pork
By Joe Vansickle, Senior Editor

Per capita pork consumption in the United States has declined sharply in the past several years due primarily to strong pork export growth. Per capita pork consumption in the United States averaged 50.1 lb. in 2006 and 2007 when $2 per bushel corn was still the rule. That dropped to a low of 45.8 lb. by 2011, a 9% decrease.

Surprisingly, as U.S. per capita consumption was dropping sharply, total U.S. pork production grew by 8% from 2006/2007 to 2012, remarks Purdue ag economist Chris Hurt.

How could total pork production grow while domestic per capita consumption was falling sharply? The answer is that U.S. pork exports expanded and now U.S. consumers have new competition from foreign buyers for limited pork supplies. There is a saying, “China is going to eat your lunch,” and that statement has some limited truth. China was the 6th-largest buyer of pork from the U.S. in 2006, representing 5% of U.S. exports, but moved to the third- largest buyer by 2011 representing 15% of U.S. exports.

FULL ARTICLE

PORK INDUSTRY CALENDAR
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 schristensen@iowapork.org.

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 schristensen@iowapork.org.



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 schristensen@iowapork.org.



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 schristensen@iowapork.org.



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: http://adsa.asas.org/midwest/2012.asp.



FULL ARTICLE

Career Opportunities


Senior Production Specialist
Responsible for the production of a high quality product while maintaining a safe work place and clean environment. Specific duties: producing cost saving ideas, generation of CIR's an active role in creating annual budgets. REQUIREMENTS: Education: Requires broad knowledge generally acquired through four years of college, resulting in a Bachelor's degree or equivalents. Experience: 4+ years of experience managing live pork production facilities or working in a swine/animal production discipline. EEO: M/F/D/V

To apply: Please visit www.tysonfoods.com go to the “Careers” tab and follow the indicated steps.

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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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The Strategic Investment Program (SIP) is the primary source of funds for the National Pork Producers Council. As an investor, you will help NPPC fight for reasonable legislation and regulation, develop revenue and market opportunities and protect livelihoods. SIP investors have a voice in NPPC policy development. Learn more.


 MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

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 www.nationalhogfarmer.com.

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The 3FLEX™ combination package contains the only circovirus, Mycoplasma and PRRS vaccines USDA-approved to be mixed and administered as a single shot for pigs three weeks of age or older.

 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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