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mikey

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American Hog News USDA
« on: April 11, 2008, 08:26:18 AM »
Thursday, April 10, 2008Print This Page
Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites
US - USDA needs to intervene do something about the increasing cost of pig feed, says the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Pork producers are feeling the pinch and crisis looms, writes Peter Shinn.


In an article for agri news service Brownfield, he quotes AFBF President Bob Stallman as saying that US pork producers face uncertainty and a dismal outlook and he's calling for US Ag Secretary Ed Schafer to use Section 32 emergency funds to buy up pork and stabilize the cash hog market.

And the Iowa Pork Producers Association isn’t waiting for USDA to act. IPPA issued a statement earlier this week detailing the many ways its members are trying to boost domestic pork consumption and exports in a bid to cut back supplies

However, there’s a limit to ways IPPA can increase pork disappearance, said IPPA President Dave Moody.

"We can only do so much in trying to promote and get people to consume the product. And if we can't enough of it moved, we've got to get supplies cut back, and we're definitely at some pretty high supply numbers right now," he told Brownfield.

Moody didn't discount AFBF's call for additional Section 32 purchases of pork by USDA. He also emphasized that lower cash hog prices are coming at a time of record-high feed prices, so virtually all pork producers are operating in the red.

"You look at the markets, where they're at right now, and by the time you pay your feed bill and what you get out of you pig, you've got maybe $30 left to have bought that pig and got it to the 50 pound-point, whatever it took," Moody explained. "There's not too many people who are going to find a 50 pound pig for $30 and not have any other costs, so nearly everybody is losing money right now."




« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 10:07:26 AM by mikey »


mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2008, 07:53:03 AM »
USDA Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Report: March 2008
U.S. Hog Inventory up 7 Percent
U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2008 was 65.9 million head. This was up 7 percent from March 1, 2007, but down 2 percent from December 1, 2007.

Breeding inventory, at 6.14 million head, was up less than 1 percent from last year, but down slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 59.8 million head, was up 7 percent from last year, but down 2 percent from last quarter.

The December 2007-February 2008 pig crop, at 28.1 million head, was up 6 percent from 2007 and up 9 percent from 2006. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.05 million head, up 5 percent from 2007 and up 7 percent from 2006. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 9.21 for the December 2007-February 2008 period, compared to 9.09 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.50 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 9.30 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

U.S. Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Inventory: March 2008



U.S. hog producers intend to have 3.05 million sows farrow during the March-May 2008 quarter, up slightly from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2007, and up 4 percent from 2006.

Intended farrowings for June-August 2008, at 3.04 million sows, are down 2 percent from 2007 but up 4 percent from 2006.

The total number of hogs under contract, owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 40 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, up from 39 percent last year.

Revisions
All inventory and pig crop estimates for March 2007 through December 2007 were reviewed using final pig crop, official slaughter, death loss, and updated import and export data. Based on the findings of this review, an adjustment of slightly more than 2 percent was made to the September 1, 2007 total inventory along with an adjustment of slightly larger than 4 percent to the June-August 2007 pig crop.

Adjustments of less than 3 percent were made to the December 1, 2007 total inventory and September-November 2007 pig crop.






mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008, 07:56:22 AM »
Russian Federation - Livestock and Products Semi Annual Report 2008
Pork production is expected to increase 6 percent in 2008, due in most part to growing investments in swine production and higher reproductive yields, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Services. This growth is directly related to investment credit subsidies as laid out by the National Priority Project in agriculture as well as imposition of import restrictions.



2008

Semi-Annual
2007

Annual Summary

Semi-Annual
2006

Annual Summary

Semi-Annual
2005

Annual Summary

Executive Summary
By contrast, beef production is expected to decrease 3.5 percent in 2008 as poor cattle husbandry and generally negative profitability continues to scare away potential investors. Production of beef fell by approximately 5 percent in 2007. The Federal Customs Service issued an order in late 2007 announcing a new list of approved customs declaration points authorized to handle meat and meat products that left out many major points in the Russian Far East and the port of Saint Petersburg. Russia and the United States are currently negotiating new health protocols for live cattle, live pigs, live horses and bovine embryos. Veterinary certificates for beef and bovine semen have already been negotiated.

Overview
Private plots generate 48 percent of cattle, 43 percent of swine and 54 percent of sheep and goats in Russia. The Russian government recently approved a new program that will succeed the National Priority Project in agriculture (NPP) titled, “The State Program for Development of Agriculture and Regulation of Food and Agricultural Markets in 2008-2012,” that encourages pork and beef production and attempts to address Russia’s declining cattle numbers. This program includes import-substitution policies designed to stimulate domestic livestock production and to protect local producers.

In the beginning of 2007, the economic environment for swine production was generally unfavorable. The average production cost was RUR40-45/kilo of live weight, while the farm gate price was RUR40/kilo live weight. Pork producers have been expressing concern for years about sales after implementation of the NPP as pork consumption is growing at a slower rate than pork production. As a result, the pork sector has been lobbying the Russian government to regulate imports in spite of the meat TRQ agreement.

From January-September 2007, 1.38 million metric tons (MMT) of red meat was imported. A 12-year decline in beef production has resulted in limited beef availability in the Russian market leading to a spike in prices. In response, the Russian government has been force to take steps to increase the availability of beef by lifting a meat ban on Poland and by looking to Latin America for higher volumes of product. Feed stocks decreased during the first 11 months of 2007 compared to the previous year which will likely create even greater financial problems for livestock operations in 2008 as feed prices continue to skyrocket. Grain prices increased rapidly in Russia through the middle of July 2007 before stabilizing at high levels as harvest progress reports were released.

The Russian pig crop is expected to increase by 6 percent in 2008, while cattle herds are predicted to decrease by 3.5 percent. Some meat market analysts predict that by 2012, as new and modernized pig farming complexes reach planned capacity, pork production could reach 3.5 MMT – up 75 percent from 2008 estimates.

According to the Russian Statistics Agency (Rosstat), 1/3 of all Russian “large farms” are unprofitable. Many of these are involved in livestock production. Small, inefficient producers are uncompetitive and have already begun disappearing from the market. The Russian veterinary service continues to playa decisive role in meat import supply management.

Production
Swine production is expected to increase by 6 percent in 2008 and will equal 41.7 million pigs. Larger pig stocks are sustained by high meat prices and subsidized credits as part of the now expired NPP. The forecast of 2008 swine production was increased slightly over the previous forecast due to slighter better than expected reproductive yields. The forecast for pork production was also revised and increased by 1.5 percent. This represents a 6 percent increase overall in 2008 from normal slaughter weights and higher reproductive yields. Some meat market analysts predict that by 2012, as new and modernized pig farming complexes reach planned capacity, pork production could reach 3.5 MMT – up 75 percent from 2008 estimates.

Cattle inventories are forecast to decrease 3.5 percent in 2008, continuing a 12-year decline in this sector. In 2008 the cattle herd is forecast to decrease a further 3 percent due to low production and reproductive efficiency. As a result, beef production is expected to fall 3.5 percent. Beef production also fell 4 percent in 2007, as poor cattle husbandry and general negative returns have not made beef an attractive area for investment.

Under the NPP, 114 new pork production facilities are to be built and are expected to raise domestic pork production (live weight) by 855,000 MT in 2008 and 950,000 MT in 2009 (in comparison to 2005 numbers). Many of them will feature foreign equipment imported under a resolution adopted in November 2006 that extended duty-free importation of all agricultural machinery and equipment that are not produced domestically. The Russian government has set a goal for annual domestic pork production of 2.4 MMT (once all proposed measures are fully implemented and successful).

Domestic livestock production is currently cost prohibitive due to unreasonably high production costs, feed conversion ratios and rising energy prices. As a result, 65 percent of swine farms operate with an inefficient business model. Such farms cannot compete with the other 35 percent that operate using the latest technology available. Modernized swine farms are stable due to the fact that they many have their own feed supplies, use modern technologies and management practices, and, in many cases, have their own processing and trading facilities. In general, meat production costs are much higher in Russia in comparison with other countries that export meat to Russia. The Ministry of Agriculture has identified several areas where pork producers need to improve, including:

Swine genetics: Russian breeds represent only 35-38 percent of meat consumed, while domestic meat usually accounts for 60 percent of consumption in other countries, according to Dr. Andrey Lisitsin, Director of Scientific Research of the Institute of Meat Processing. Meat processing companies cannot rely solely on domestically produced meat for their products due to a lack of uniformity and brand standards. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2007, the farm gate hog price was RUR40/kilo, in comparison with RUR50/kilo in the summer of 2006. At the same time, processors were forced to pay RUR60/kilo to ensure appropriate and stable quality.

Integration of new technologies and equipment: Most farms currently use equipment purchased over a decade ago, while Russian agricultural machinery factories sit almost idle. Manual labor is the current modus operandi for more than 50 percent of pig farms.

Education of managers and workers at all levels of farming: Many old cadres are not familiar with modern, up-to-date technologies and management methods.

Construction of swine farms with 200-300 head per farm: This objective would not require significant levels of investment. An efficient system for swine collection and transportation from the production site to the slaughterhouse should be developed to ensure the quality and safety of the meat.

Improve current storage, transportation and trade networks: The predominant players in the Russian meat market are small companies that, in most cases, deliver meat by unrefrigerated ground transport to small collection centers. Meat is then stored at a temperature of -2 to -6 degrees Celsius in most cases, instead of the required -18 degrees. This is mainly due to Russia’s lack of modern cold storage facilities.

Processed meat production totaled 2.3 MMT in January-November 2007, up 15.7 percent from 2006. Sausage production also increased 6.5 percent to 2.1 MMT, according to Rosstat. Of the 5 MMT of meat produced in Russia, 3 MMT was produced by small farms or private households. Animals are slaughtered at on–farm facilities under generally unsanitary conditions. According to Dr. Lisitsin, so far as he is aware, Russia is the only country where carcasses are washed with water and brushed after slaughter, which significantly reduces the shelf life of the meat products to 10-15 days, whereas the shelf life of chilled meat from Argentina is 90 days and from Brazil, 120 days.


Feed Stocks
Feed stocks decreased during the first 11 months of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006. Low feed stocks will create even greater problems for livestock operations in 2008 as domestic feed prices have been skyrocketing. Grain prices increased rapidly in Russia through the middle of July before finally stabilizing at high levels as harvest progress reports were released (see RS8013).

Increases in the consumption of feed by the livestock sector and potentially high demands on grain exports will place upward pressure on grain prices beginning late fall 2008. To limit the negative effects of grain exports on feed prices, the Russian government issued a resolution on December 15, 2007 that authorizes the government to impose, as deemed necessary, the export of several “essential commodities” such as grain and grain products (see RS7094).

Currently Russia is developing protocols to register feed produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A Russian government resolution transferred the testing and registration of feeds containing GMOs to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS). VPSS has developed the draft administrative regulation for registration and has already begun accepted applications based on the procedures described in that draft (see RS7078).

 
*One feed unit equals 1 kilogram of oats in energy equivalent.
 

mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 08:00:12 AM »
Feed Prices Whipping up a Perfect Storm
US - All those in hope of some relief on food prices this summer can think again as feed prices continue their relentless increase.



The increase is largely due to rapidly increasing animal feed costs, a result of competition for corn and oilseeds between livestock and poultry feeding and alternative fuels production, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) board of directors was told at its recent meeting.

AFIA President & CEO Joel Newman, in his state of the industry report to the AFIA board, said Congress and the Bush Administration must recognize that $5 a bushel corn – and similar price jumps for soybeans and other food grains -- can no longer be viewed as anomalies or temporary. “$5 corn looks to be closer to the new ‘normal,” Newman said, adding ethanol’s use of corn will hit 27% of the U.S. corn crop during the 2007-2008 crop year.


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"The industry’s cost of production escalation has only just started to work its way through the system" 
AFIA President & CEO Joel Newman
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The AFIA Board was told the average 5% increase in consumer food prices experienced last year is just the beginning, with food prices likely jumping another 10-12% this year.

“The industry’s cost of production escalation has only just started to work its way through the system. Feed price increases will be pushed through the food chain over the next six months,” Newman said, “Consumers can expect to see even higher prices for meat, poultry and dairy products.”

Newman laid out the “perfect storm” of factors forcing food prices higher, starting with crude oil prices topping $100 a barrel and increasing demand for alternative fuels. Couple that demand surge with the effect of global livestock liquidation, particularly in the swine industry, increasing export demand for U.S. grains and oilseeds to meet stronger global demand for animal protein, an 11% increase in world feed production – which has led to record low U.S. stocks-to-use ratios – combined with a weak U.S. dollar and significant increase in ag commodity speculators, and you have the inevitable pressure on U.S. food prices, Newman said.

Supporting the AFIA internal analysis is a report released this week by the Coalition for Balanced Food & Fuel, of which AFIA is a member. In his report, presented at the Annual Meat Conference this week in Nashville, TN, Dr. Tom Elam, president of Farm Econ, an analysis firm, said he estimates the cumulative costs to the food industry of the federal renewable fuel program will be about $100 billion for 2005-2010.

Elam said broiler industry input costs this year are up $3.4 billion (53 cents per bird); turkey input costs are up $646 million ($3.40 per turkey); swine input costs are up $2.9 billion ($38 per hog); cattle input costs are up $2.24 billion ($117 per fed beef animal) and dairy input cost are up $2.7 billion.

AFIA is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the animal feed industry and its suppliers. Membership includes over 500 domestic and international companies; state, national and regional associations. Firms are feed and pet food manufacturers, integrators, pharmaceutical companies, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and companies which supply other products, services and supplies to feed manufacturers.




mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 08:03:06 AM »
Livestock Slaughter: Total Red Meat Production Down from Previous Month
By the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service

 

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.97 billion pounds in February, up 10 percent from the 3.62 billion pounds produced in February 2007.

Beef production, at 2.04 billion pounds, was 4 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.64 million head, up 3 percent from February 2007. The average live weight was up 11 pounds from the previous year, at 1,285 pounds.

Veal production totaled 11.0 million pounds, 9 percent below February a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 69,100 head, up 4 percent from February 2007. The average live weight was down 36 pounds from last year, at 272 pounds.

Pork production totaled 1.90 billion pounds, up 16 percent from the previous year. Hog kill totaled 9.38 million head, up 16 percent from February 2007. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 271 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 15.0 million pounds, was up 4 percent from February 2007. Sheep slaughter totaled 211,400 head, 3 percent above last year. The average live weight was 143 pounds, up 3 pounds from February a year ago.

January to February 2008 commercial red meat production was 8.38 billion pounds, up 9 percent from 2007. Accumulated beef production was up 4 percent from last year, veal was down 16 percent, pork was up 15 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was up 1 percent.



U.S. Monthly Commercial
Red Meat Production




U.S. Monthly Commercial Slaughter
Hogs

mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 08:34:59 AM »
Wednesday, April 09, 2008Print This Page
AFBF Urges Help for Pork Producers
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Farm Bureau Federation this week asked the Agriculture Department to make additional Section 32 purchases of pork to help provide some stability for the sector, as well as supply the healthy protein source to users of the nation’s nutrition programs.


“Additional Section 32 purchases would help the pork industry at this critical time,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “We request that you evaluate such a purchase for the benefits that it would provide both producers and consumers.”

Section 32 is a permanent appropriation USDA uses to support non-farm program commodities while enhancing nutrition programs. The purchases could help the pork industry during a crucial time, said Stallman.

According to AFBF, prices for live market hogs have plunged to levels not seen in nearly a decade. On April 1, wholesale pork prices hit their lowest level in four years at $54.87 per hundredweight, only to rebound somewhat later in the week. Yet, despite the small increase, producers still face uncertainty and a dismal outlook for their industry, Stallman said.



mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 08:37:28 AM »
Wednesday, April 09, 2008Print This Page
New Study Proves Virkon® S Misting's Superior Value
Us - A team of leading researchers in the USA have found that directed misting of a four per cent solution of disinfectant Virkon® S can successfully reduce environmental bacterial contamination, such as Staphs and Salmonella, to extremely low levels - significantly lower than many other disinfectant could achieve.

 
The misted dilution was successful in reducing environmental bacterial CFUs by > 99.9999% or the equivalent of a highly effective 6 logs1. Typically, a reduction factor or 3 to 5 logs is considered the minimum needed for effective disinfection, says manufacturer DuPont Animal Health Solutions.

Based on their earlier work2 with Virkon® S, Gage Patterson and Paul Morley of the Animal Population Health Institute and Colorado State University, USA performed a new field study to evaluate the efficacy of four per cent Virkon® S applied as a mist to surfaces in a large animal hospital. The purpose of the new study was to find a less labour intensive and disruptive means to disinfect the veterinary hospital's large animal facilities with extensive, unsealed electrical conduits and fixtures in the high ceilings of the buildings.

Various locations around the hospital were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica onto polyester transparencies. After misting with Virkon® S viable bacterial numbers were quantified and compared with growth from control transparencies to assess the reduction in bacterial count. The study showed that the mean reductions in recovery of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica were significantly reduced by > 6 logs for both bacteria, an equivalent of a > 99.9999% reduction in CFUs.

On a Par and Better
When compared with other disinfectants, the authors stated that the efficacy of Virkon® S was similar to that achieved through aerosolisation of formaldehyde, but superior to that achieved by aerosolisation of a glutaraldehyde and quaternary ammonium compound mixture.

"From our experience with previous studies2, we selected a four per cent solution of Virkon® S as this has the greatest killing capacity,"explains Paul Morley.

"Our high, 20 foot surfaces and electrical work make cleaning and disinfection a challenge. We clean all the surfaces first, followed by a combination of foaming with disinfectant and then misting with Virkon® S to minimise environmental bacterial loads. Directed misting disinfection using Virkon® S enables us to get into all the difficult-to-access nooks and crannies," he adds.

In conclusion his team found that the directed misting application of four per cent Virkon® S proved to be a very rapid and efficient method of distributing disinfectant that could be easily applied to a variety of agricultural or veterinary settings. References
Efficacy of directed misting application of a peroxygen disinfectant for environmental decontamination of a veterinary hospital. G Patterson, PS Morley, KD Blehm, DE Lee, M Dunowska. JAVMA, Vol 227, No 4, August 15, 2005
Dunowska M, Morley PS, Hyatt DR. The effect of Virkon S fogging on survival of Salmonella enterica and Staphylococcus aureus on surfaces in a veterinary teaching hospital. Vet Microbiol 2005; 105:281-289.

mikey

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Re: Aid Pleas Begin as US Pork Crisis Bites:
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 10:06:09 AM »
Friday, April 11, 2008Print This Page
Pork Futures: Pork Mostly Weak
KANSAS CITY - Lean hog futures closed mostly lower, with April through October down while deep deferred December and February '09 rallied to finish modestly higher.


The summer and early autumn contracts fell rather sharply near the middle of the session on the wide premiums to current cash prices held by those contracts, analysts and brokers said. Technical factors such as broken moving average support and losses that slipped into the chart gaps on some contracts also contributed to the declines.

A broker said uncertainty about the near-term direction in wholesale pork prices also left some traders cautious about buying at that time.

After one-week lows were hit, selling interest slowed, and some traders, said to be mainly locals, began buying. Some of the buying was said to be short covering.

A broker/analyst said with the premiums carried by futures to current cash prices and April hogs scheduled to expire on Monday, there could be additional pressure on May and June hogs into next week. However, the direction that cash hog and wholesale pork prices take from here could affect the next two trading months into and past April's expiration.

Rich Nelson, analyst with Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Ill. said the gains that were posted in lean hogs last week through Wednesday occurred without any significant new developments, and the trading volume during the rally was not all that big. It appeared that there was not enough bullish news available this session to keep the rally going, he said.




mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 08:50:00 AM »
Friday, April 11, 2008Print This Page
Export Markets Are Bright Spot For US Pork and Beef Industries
US - Continued success in the export market helped buoy the US pork industry in the first two months of 2008, according to data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

 
“The growth engine for the US meat industry will continue to be the export market,” said Philip M. Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “The weakened US dollar, competitive pricing for US exports, and declining production by some of our competitors combine to create conditions that support continued growth internationally.”

The US pork industry enjoyed its fifth consecutive month of record-breaking exports (including variety meats) in February. Exports in February reached 346 million pounds (156,969 metric tons), an increase of 6 percent over the record set in January, and a 55 percent jump over export totals from February 2007.

“Pork production is running 12 percent over last year, making it impossible to raise prices to cover the ever-increasing costs of production,” said Erin Daley, USMEF manager of research and analysis. “Without pork exports, at these production rates the US market would have to absorb the equivalent of an additional 60,000 hogs per day, which would drive prices down significantly.”

For the two-month period (January-February 2008), pork plus pork variety meat exports were up 41 percent, totaling 671.6 million pounds (304,651 metric tons) valued at $685 million.

The US beef industry export news also is positive. Exports of beef muscle cuts increased 36 percent to 168.5 million pounds (76,445 metric tons) when compared to the same two-month period in 2007, and beef variety meat exports increased 17 percent to 118 million pounds (53,529 metric tons) for a combined total of 286.5 million pounds (129,974 metric tons) valued at $442 million, an increase of 40 percent.

Pork export highlights
On a volume basis, China/Hong Kong was the largest market for US pork and pork variety meats for January/February 2008 (164.7 million pounds or 74,745 metric tons – a 287 percent increase over the same time period in 2007). However, Japan remains No. 1 on a value basis at $210.9 million, or 31 percent of total pork and pork variety meat export value.

Other highlights from the two-month period for pork plus pork variety meat exports:

Japan: up 4 percent to 143 million pounds (64,927 metric tons)
Mexico: up 2 percent to 122 million pounds (55,384 metric tons), but still trailing the record export volumes of 2006
Canada: up 28 percent to 59.4 million pounds (26,955 metric tons). Exports were basically on track with the strong volumes recorded during the final quarter of 2007, reflecting large live hog imports from Canada
Russia continues to be a tremendous growth market: 164 percent growth to 58.9 million pounds (26,716 metric tons, including 21,812 metric tons of muscle cuts and 4,904 metric tons of variety meats). “This is an excellent example of the competitiveness of US pork, enhanced by the weak dollar,” noted Daley. February exports at 34.8 million pounds (15,786 metric tons) were nearly equal to the monthly record of 35.1 million pounds set in November 2007.
South Korea: down 2 percent to 53 million pounds (24,051 metric tons), but February exports were larger than any monthly volume last year with the exception of December. Also note that South Korean import statistics show imports from the United States up 10 percent while imports from the EU are down 16 percent and those from Canada are down 10 percent.
ASEAN: exports to the Philippines increased 141 percent to 7.6 million pounds (3,470 metric tons) and exports to Vietnam grew from essentially zero to 2.4 million pounds (1,099 metric tons). Total exports to the region in February (nearly 6.7 million pounds) surpassed the monthly record set in December 2007.
EU: exports were up 83 percent to 11.6 million pounds (5,275 metric tons), primarily destined for France (4.4 million pounds), Germany (1.8 million pounds) and Italy (1.3 million pounds). However, USMEF notes that US exports (reported by the Department of Commerce) are significantly larger than EU imports, reported by the European Commission. For example, Department of Commerce pork export stats for January 2008 show 3.8 million pounds while EU stats show 2.0 million pounds of beef imports from the United States.
Caribbean: up 42 percent to 8.3 million pounds (3,780 metric tons), including exports to the Dominican Republic (up 200 percent to nearly 2.8 million pounds).
Central and South America: up 4 percent to 11.7 million pounds (5,337 metric tons) led by Honduras (up 3 percent to 3.5 million pounds).
Oceania: down 16 percent to 14.6 million pounds (6,635 metric tons), but Daley notes the good news that the Australian Productivity Commission released its final report and did not recommend safeguard action against pork exports to Australia. Therefore, the United States can continue to export pork to Australia duty-free.
Taiwan: down 19 percent to 5.1 million pounds (2,341 metric tons) as market access issues continue to impede US pork exports.



mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 07:27:41 AM »
Soybean and Livestock Go Hand in Hand
US - Livestock and poultry consume about 98 percent of domestically used soybean meal, making them the No. 1 customer for U.S. soybean producers.


 
Soybean harvest

It's always a good idea to know more about one's top customer, which is why the United Soybean Board and the soybean checkoff funded research to identify SBM usage by state. Knowing SBM usage by state allows soybean farmers to see the value livestock and poultry bring, both to their state's soybean industry and their state and local economies.

"It's important to realize what a big customer animal agriculture is for soybean farmers," says Tom Brown, USB director and a farmer from Morral, Ohio. Brown sees the connection between soybean farmers and livestock producers firsthand, as his brother serves on the National Pork Board.

The top 10 SBM-consuming states in ranking order are Iowa, North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota, Alabama, Mississippi, California and Oklahoma. Each of these states boasts a strong animal agriculture economy.

One interesting trend is that most top SBM-consuming states do not grow much of their own soybeans. Of the top 10 SBM-consuming states, only Iowa and Minnesota are producing enough soybeans to meet the demands of their livestock and poultry producers.

The top 10 soybean-producing states are Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas. Together those states account for nearly 59 million acres of soybean production.

"Animal agriculture is vitally important to soybean farmers, but it is also important to rural America," says Brown. "Livestock and poultry production adds revenue to rural America in the form of income tax, property tax and employment."

To learn more about the top SBM-consuming states and how they are the number one customer for soybean farmers, visit www.animalag.org. You can click on Supporting Studies and Data and use the Production Map tool to see how your state ranks in soybean acres; SBM utilization; and beef, dairy, pork, poultry and sheep production.

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.


mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2008, 07:39:54 AM »
Monday, April 14, 2008Print This Page
Now Could Be TheTime to Invest in Pigs
IOWA - With hog prices so poor that a farrow to finish hog operation would lose 30 percent of its asset value in a year, would anyone want to build more hog buildings and expand operations, asks David Kruse, president of CommStock Investments Inc.



The hog market is cyclical and when weak non-integrated producers either tire or are financially forced out, the hog market will turn and profits return, he says in an article in Iowa's Times Republican. He says that now could be the perfect time to invest and take advantage of the next upturn in the hog price cycle.


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"There is a time and tested adage that when corn prices set major highs, livestock prices will follow with accompanying new highs after liquidation from preceding industry losses occur. " 
avid Kruse, President of CommStock Investments Inc.
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There is a time and tested adage that when corn prices set major highs, livestock prices will follow with accompanying new highs after liquidation from preceding industry losses occur. And although Kruse believes there is some merit in the old adage, producers must also remember that the modern industry is highly integrated and so the outcome may not necessarily be the same.

Packers own many of the hogs they process today so when fully integrated, profitable processing margins eliminate or minimize production losses on these hogs.

Inherent Advantages
This gives integrated producers like Smithfield Foods an inherent advantage over independent producers who only market hogs. Sustained high production levels of hogs have resulted in low pork prices to retailers and whatever bargain they pass on to consumers. The demand base for pork, both domestic and export has been expanded by sustained large supplies of pork.

Fertilizer costs have soared to where NPK for corn can cost $150/acre. Manure can replace most commercial fertilizer requirements so has become valuable, a profit center in itself for farmer/feeders.

Demand for manure to manage fertilizer costs has generated interest from farmers in providing sites for hog production facilities to hog companies. These buildings are located relative to adjacent crop ground to facilitate manure application.


mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2008, 07:44:04 AM »
Monday, April 14, 2008Print This Page
China Link Adds Impetuts to Indiana Pork Business
US - Solid corn and soybean prices and slumping hog prices are spelling trouble for Indiana pork producers. Its proving difficult to compare income vs. expenses on the hog budget sheet right now.



However,  report in the states Prairie Farmer, says that in spite to tough time, one Indiana hog company is moving forward. Whiteshire Hamroc LLC, a Noble County swine genetics company, announced a joint venture with Tangrenshen, an integrated pork company in Huhnan Province, China.

Whiteshire Hamroc is the largest purebred genetic producer in the USA and will supply pigs to the Chinese company. Pigs headed to the Far East will include highly-tested Yorkshires, Landrace and Durocs.

This is no small project. The Chinese pork company will introduce 1,000 females from Whiteshire Hamroc's Nucleus herd into their system. They will become the base for what the Chinese businessmen hope will become an operation that produces 10 million market pigs per year.

For technology buffs, there's an interesting angle to the arrangement. This is far from a 'sell them and leave' arrangement. Instead, Whiteshire Hamroc with continue working with the company, and be involved in monitoring and assessing daily production activities. How can that happen when the two businesses are literally a world apart? Enter the power of the Internet. The system will allow the Indiana pork company to provide genetic analysis and recommended matings for the company all the way off in China.



mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2008, 07:42:44 AM »
Tuesday, April 15, 2008Print This Page
Pork Commentary: Exports on a Roll
US - Last week Jim Long reported that the Iowa-Minnesota lean price was US$48.89 on 21 March. Three weeks later - 10 April - the price was US$ 58.76, giving a 10¢ ($20 per head) increase in 3 weeks. He says producers can expect another $30/head increase in the next few weeks.

 

We have believed hog prices would tear ahead and it is happening.  But why?
Exports are on a roll. United States exports in February were up 55 per cent over February last year. China – Hong Kong was up 433 per cent.

Exports accounted for almost 25 per cent of all U.S. pork production. One out of four hogs are going somewhere else (Canadians take note – export pork is exempt from COOL. Do you really think no one will kill your hogs?)

Exports are saving our bacon. Prices would be even worse if not for foreign markets.

We expect exports to continue at record levels. The European price for hogs last Friday was 1.64 Euros a kilogram ($1.14 US per lb). Since January, Europe’s hog price has risen from 90 Euros per kilogram - an increase of $100 US plus per head.

With our hogs significantly lower priced than the Europeans, we have a huge price advantage in export markets (record February exports). This is lifting our prices and will continue to do so. The high price of grain in Europe (corn $9.00 US bushel) has eliminated 750,000 sows out of the European production system. Indeed, the European pork industry is expecting even higher prices.

Advantage Over the World
The US is gaining a huge cost of production advantage relative to the rest of the world. The US advantage is a corn price spread of $3.00 to $5.00 a bushel and has never been greater. The relative competitiveness of the U.S. industry coupled with a weak U.S. dollar is allowing our pork marketers to pound into every conceivable export market. We do not believe the marketplace has fully realized this competitive advantage.

There has never been such a scenario that could so radically increase our prices. Prices can accelerate beyond comprehension fueled by massive global export demand and, for the first time, not by a large decrease in hog numbers.

In our opinion, our industry is liquidating sows. At the same time, poultry and beef supply will decline. This will not only increase exports but domestic demand.

Crazy? Maybe Are we too bullish? We obviously don’t think so. The corn ethanol insanity has pushed grain prices to record levels. The global liquidation of livestock will leave a smaller supply of meat for increasing world demand. The only way to ration is higher prices. Already, Europeans have double our pork price but still have twice our per capita pork consumption. High grain prices have already made feedlot cattle very expensive to produce. Our feed conversion rate, at half that of cattle, is our advantage. In Europe, beef consumption is low, as domestically produced beef is very expensive. High cattle prices have helped lead to higher pork consumption as the red meat alternative.
Demand Increase
In the end, we expect demand for pork globally and domestically to continue to increase. Over the last 5 years, there has been an extra 30 million hogs produced per year every year. That trend is in reverse. We will have fewer hogs produced in the world over the next few months. Demand will push prices to levels we cannot comprehend. Remember, 46 per cent of all meat consumed in the world is pork. Despite our current economic plight, we should not lose sight that we are producing the world’s number one meat.


mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2008, 08:28:59 AM »
Fetal Pig Programming - An Emerging Concept with Possible Implications for Swine Reproductive Performance
By Mark J. Estienne and Allen F. Harper, VA Tech Tidewater AREC, Suffolk, VA. Livestock Update, April 2008.



Introduction
Consider for a moment the life of replacement gilts from birth to the point at which they farrow their first litters of pigs. At any point within that spectrum of time, modern swine production has benefited from many years of research attempting to define the optimum environment (number of pen-mates, size of pens, temperature, etc.) in which gilts are raised so as to ultimately maximize their reproductive efficiency. For example, litter size in which gilts are raised impacts the size of the litters that they produce. Nelson and Robison (1976) reported the results of an experiment during which litter size was standardized at either six or twelve pigs. Later in life, gilts from the small litters had more ovulations and embryos at 25 days post-mating compared to gilts from the large litters; Gilts that farrowed averaged over one more pig born alive. These data suggest that larger litter size imposes some type of “stress” pre-weaning that negatively impacts a female’s future reproduction. This potential negative effect can be addressed by strategic cross-fostering.

The post-weaning environment in which gilts are raised can ultimately impact reproduction as well. For example, in an experiment conducted at the Tidewater AREC (Lindemann et al., 1988), the percentage of gilts reaching puberty at less than 285 days of age tended to be greater for females allowed adequate floor space during the grower and finisher phases of production, compared to gilts allowed less floor space (6 versus 3 ft2 during the grower phase, and 7.8 vs. 6 ft2 during the finisher phase). Moreover, Kuhlers et al. (1985) placed grower gilts in pens of 8 or 16 animals each. Gilts reared in the smaller groups ultimately farrowed one more pig per litter than did gilts reared in larger groups.

Thus, an enormous amount of research has been conducted to determine the effect of various environmental factors to which gilts are exposed from birth onward, with reproductive capacity they ultimately achieve as the measured endpoint. Receiving far less attention, however, is another period of time during which “environmental” factors may impact subsequent gilt reproduction. Indeed, an exciting and growing body of evidence supports the notion that the maternal environment in which gilt fetuses develop plays a profound role in the development of the reproductive and other physiologic systems.

The objectives of this paper are to provide the reader with a brief introduction to the concept of “fetal programming” and then describe how this phenomenon possibly relates to a very contentious issue facing the swine industry that being the housing of gestating sows.

Prenatal Development and Fetal Programming in the Pig
Fertilization by sperm cells of the ova (or “eggs”) released by sows or gilts during the process of ovulation occurs in the oviduct a few hours after mating. Cell division begins soon after and the fertilized egg passes into the uterus by the third day post-mating. Cell specialization and rearrangement begins by the sixth day. Eleven day-old embryos begin to show signs of attachment to the lining of the uterus and true implantation and formation of the placenta occurs around day 18. By this time within the embryo the ectoderm, mesoderm, and entoderm are clearly formed and cell specialization continues. From the ectoderm arise the skin, mammary and sweat glands, hair and hoofs, the intestinal lining, teeth enamel and the nervous system. From the entoderm arise components of the digestive tract, thyroid gland, trachea, and lungs. From the mesoderm arise the skeleton, skeletal muscle, connective tissue, blood vessels, blood cells, heart, smooth muscle, adrenal glands, reproductive organs, and the kidneys. Many of the major organs can be seen by day 20 post-mating. The size of the developing fetuses increases tremendously during the last half of the gestation period. Shown in Table 1 are some important chronological events in the prenatal growth of female swine, and emphasize the development of reproductive organs.

Table 1. Chronological Events in Prenatal Development of Gilts


Fetal programming refers to the process by which an acute or chronic stimulus in utero (i.e., in the uterus) establishes a permanent response in the fetus that impacts physiologic function later in life. When reviewing the time course of fetal development of the pig described in the preceding paragraph and Table 1, it becomes intuitive that depending on the nature and timing of the stimulus, various physiological systems can be differentially impacted. The concept of fetal programming in swine is illustrated by an experiment reported by O’Gorman et al.(2007). In that study, gestating crossbred sows were allocated to one of two treatment groups: control or stressed. “Stressed” sows were subjected to daily restraint for five minutes during weeks 12 to 16 of gestation. Female offspring were checked for estrus twice daily beginning at 122 days of age. Age at first estrus was significantly delayed in gilts farrowed by stressed sows (172 + 6 days) compared to gilts farrowed by control females (158 + 2 days).

Does the Type of Housing in which Sows Gestate Impact Subsequent Reproduction in Gilt Offspring?
Individually housing pregnant females results in certain production advantages, and it is estimated that at least 60% of the sows and gilts in the U.S. are kept in stalls throughout gestation (Barnett et al., 2001). This method of sow housing, however, is the most contentious welfare issue facing pork producers. Typical gestation stalls measure 2’ x 7’ and limit sows to standing, sitting, and lying. This restricted freedom of movement has been, and continues to be, robustly criticized by animal rights and animal welfare activists who proclaim that gestation stalls are inherently stressful and do not provide for sow well-being. On the basis of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, however, McGlone et al. (2004) concluded that well-managed stalls or group pens generally produce similar states of well-being for pregnant sows in terms of physiology, behavior, performance, and health. Results from research conducted at the Tidewater AREC (Estienne et al., 2006) generally support this conclusion.

We conducted an experiment utilizing a total of 56 gilts, which compared pregnancy rates and the number of embryos present 30 days post-mating in females group-housed in pens of three or housed individually in gestation stalls. Between groups, there were no differences in the proportion of animals displaying stereotypies, defined as repeated movements, oral activities without obvious finality, rooting and nosing. Group-housed gilts gained significantly more weight than did gilts housed in stalls. Injury scores and the incidence of lameness were significantly greater in gilts housed in groups, but serum concentrations of cortisol, a classical “stress” hormone tended to be greater in gilts housed in stalls (79.4 versus 57.1 ng/mL; SE = 7.8). Pregnancy rate was higher for gilts housed in stalls (100%) compared with group-housed individuals (85.7%); however, there was no effect of treatment on the number of embryos recovered.

We are now in the midst of an investigation funded in 2007 by the Virginia Pork Industry Board, the objective of which is to determine if the type of housing in which sows gestate impact subsequent reproduction in gilt offspring. Our working hypothesis is that if there is indeed a difference between housing systems (individual stalls versus group pens) in terms of “stress” to, and well-being of, the sow, then due to fetal programming, growth and reproductive performance of gilt offspring may be impacted.

Gilts were mated by artificial insemination (AI) and allotted to one of three types of gestation housing: I. individual stalls throughout gestation, II. group pens throughout gestation (5 to 6 gilts/pen); or III. individual stalls for 30 days post-mating and then group pens for the remainder of gestation. At day 110 of gestation, gilts were moved to the farrowing barn. Data for the experimental females is contained in Table 2 and graphically depicted in Figure 1. Barrow pigs were cross-fostered among litters within a treatment group so that sows were nursing an approximately equal number of pigs (10.5 + 0.3).

Table 2. Farrowing data for females that were kept in individual stalls or group pens throughout gestation or that were kept in individual stalls for the first 30 days after mating and then group pens for the remainder of gestation.








Figure 1. Pigs born alive for gilts housed in group pens for the entire gestation period, stalls for the entire gestation period, or stalls for the first 30 days post-mating and then group pens for the remainder of gestation (n = 6 to 7 gilts per treatment). Bars with different superscripts tend to differ (P = 0.11).
There were no significant effects of treatment on litter size, although there was a trend for a greater number of pigs born alive for females kept in stalls throughout gestation or in stalls for the first thirty days post-mating and group pens for the remainder of pregnancy, compared to gilts kept in group pens throughout gestation. The body weights of gilts pigs were similar at birth and at weaning (24.6 + 0.3 days of age) among treatments.

At weaning, gilts were placed in nursery pens each containing three pigs farrowed exclusively by gilts exposed to one of the three gestation housing systems described above. During the 5-week nursery phase of the study, average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency were similar among groups (Table 3). Thus, piglet growth during the lactation and nursery phases was unaffected by the type of gestation housing to which the dams were exposed. This suggests that if gestation housing does indeed affect gilt offspring performance via fetal programming, the effects are manifested later in life and not during early postnatal growth. Consistent with this hypothesis, in a review of literature, Foxcroft and Town (2004) concluded that variation in growth performance after birth is pre-programmed during fetal development in the uterus and it is likely that these pre-programmed limitations in growth performance express themselves in the late grower or early finisher stages of production.

Table 3. Nursery performance for gilts farrowed by females that were kept in individual stalls or group pens throughout gestation, or individual stalls for the first 30 days after mating and then group pens for the remainder of gestation.


Summary
Fetal programming refers to the process by which an acute or chronic stimulus in the uterus establishes a permanent response within the fetus that impacts physiologic function later in life. This phenomenon occurs in swine as illustrated by the fact that subjection of sows to five minutes of daily restraint during weeks 12 to 16 of gestation delays the onset of puberty in gilt offspring. Ongoing research at the Tidewater AREC is testing the hypothesis that performance of gilt offspring is impacted by the type of housing (stalls and/or pens) in which their maternal sows are kept during gestation. At the conclusion of our study, we will also have data to either support or refute the argument that the well-being of sows (as assessed by performance of gilt offspring) is compromised by gestation stall housing. This study will offer insight into the emerging concept of fetal pig programming and findings could impact future housing systems.

Literature Cited
Barnett, J.L., P.H. Hemsworth, G.M. Cronin, E.C. Jongman, and G.D. Hutson. 2001. A review of the welfare issues for sows and piglets in relation to housing. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 52:1-28.
Estienne, M.J., and A.F. Harper. 2006. Reproductive traits in gilts housed individually or in groups during the first thirty days of gestation. Journal of Swine Health and Production 14:241-246.
Foxcroft, G.R., and S.C. Town. 2004. Prenatal programming of postnatal performance - The unseen cause of variance. Advances in Pork Production 15:269-279.
Kuhlers, D.L., S.B. Jungst, D.N. Marple, and C.H. Rahe. 1985. The effect of pen density during rearing on subsequent reproductive performance in gilts. Journal of Animal Science 61:1066-1069.
Lindemann, M.D., E.T. Kornegay, and E. van Heugten. 1987-1988. Influence of stocking density on performance and immune response of swine. Virginia Tech Livestock Research Report No. 7:185-188.
McGlone, J.J., E.H. von Borell, J. Deen, A.K. Johnson, D.G. Levis, M. Meunier-Salaun, J. Morrow, D. Reeves, J.L. Salk-Johnson, and P.L. Sundberg. 2004. Review: Compilation of the scientific literature comparing housing systems for gestating sows and gilts using measures of physiology, behavior, performance, and health. Professional Animal Scientist 20:105-117.
Nelson, R.E., and O.W. Robison. 1976. Effects of postnatal maternal environment on reproduction of gilts. Journal of Animal Science 43:71-77.
O’Gorman, C.W., E. Gonzales, M.D. Eaton, K.A. Collard, M. Reyna, J.C. Laurenz, R.L. Stanko, D.H. Keisler, J.A. Carroll, and M.R. Garcia. 2007. Fetal exposure to maternal stress influences leptin receptor gene expression during development and age at puberty in gilts. Journal of Animal Science 85(Suppl. 2):13.
Pond, W.G., J.H. Maner, and D.L. Harris. 1991. In: Pork Production Systems: Efficient Use of Swine and Feed Resources. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY.

April 2008

mikey

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Re: American Hog News USDA
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 10:17:37 AM »
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Friday, April 18, 2008Print This Page
Hog Companies Agree to Change
US - Pork producers in the Lower Arkansas Valley say a bill before Gov. Bill Ritter that requires more space for pregnant pigs will be a financial burden, but they support it.


This week the state Senate approved new regulations that calves raised for veal and pregnant sows must be kept in pens large enough so they can stand up, lie down or turn around without touching the sides of their pens. Ritter is expected to sign the bill into law.

Glenn McClelland, the chief executive officer of M2P2, LLC, which owns Heritage Farms, an operator of several hog farms in the Lamar area, said hog farm facilities will have to rip out narrow stalls and replace them with larger pens. Individual stalls for sows, which are female pigs that are or will become pregnant, have been standard practice in the swine industry. Hog farmers say the stall keep sows from rolling over on their young. The stalls also are narrow to reduce the cost of housing hundreds of animals.

McClelland, whose company raises about 7,800 sows, said that the entire industry has a lot of research to complete before changing their barns.



 

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