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Newsletter 9th February 2004

thePigSite.com's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter thePigSite.com's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 9th February 2004
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in Asia where unconfirmed rumours are in circulation that pigs in Vietnam are showing serological evidence of infection by H5N1 virus which is currently responsible for the devastating outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in the region, and has resulted in the deaths of 19 people.
    If this information is confirmed, it would not constitute a surprise because the potential susceptibility of pigs to avian influenza virus is well known, say the OIE.
     Reuters have reported the Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been detected in initial tests of several Vietnamese pigs, but a Vietnamese government official said they were unaware of any such findings.

Philippine domestic prices of pork are on an upward trend following a shift in consumer demand due to the bird flu scare even as officials continue to assure the people that the Philippines remains free of the virus.

In China, the near term prospects for the hog industry look bright, reports eFeedLink. With the bird-flu outbreak creating concerns over poultry, both short and long term consumption of chicken meat and other poultry products is expected to fall. As a result it is possible the demand for pork, which is already the perennial favorite meat of the Chinese people, would get an added boost.

In the US, hog farmers want to be ready if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the mandatory national pork checkoff as unconstitutional, reports Hoovers. Leaders of both the NPPC and the National Pork Board said Tuesday that they are discussing plans for forming a single organization to replace both groups if the pork-promotion assessment is found to violate the U.S. Constitution.

It is common for pigs to wait in holding pens for at least 2 hours after transport before slaughter to improve meat quality as travel stress can lead to lactic acid build up in pigs' muscles. However, research shows this respite can significantly increase the pigs' chance of being exposed to Salmonella bacteria, reports FoodProductionDaily.

In Canada, research underway in Saskatchewan University shows long term application of swine manure fertilizer, at rates that are balanced with crop removal, enhances the soil, according to Farmscape. However, the work shows excessive applications will result in detrimental buildups of nutrients, especially nitrate.

A financial shakedown in the hog industry has forced more producers to refinance and defer loan payments, said a Farm Credit Canada representative at the recent Banff pork seminar. Many are on payment holidays because of the current conditions reports The Western Producer.

In the UK, pig production is staring into a manpower abyss as Brussels prepares to review its working hours legislation, reports the NPA. Coming in for particular scrutiny will be the opt-out clause which currently allows farm employees to work more than 48 hours a week.

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In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Farmers’ Union says the rise in feed costs is becoming an increasing problem for the local agriculture sector. If market prices don’t improve to reflect the significant increase in input costs, then farm businesses clearly face an unsustainable position said a UFU spokesman.

The French Agriculture Minister Hervé Gaymard has announced a Euro 15 million plan to help the beleaguered French pig meat industry. At a round table meeting of French pig meat production organizations, Gaymard said that through the European Commission, France had already achieved support in measures for aid for private storage and also export refunds, reports MeatNews.

EU pig prices are starting to recover, helped by the introduction of export refunds and private storage aid, reports FWi. This slight upturn follows a 20% fall in the market over the past three months. EU producers see better export opportunities, including the valuable Russian market, as their main hope while domestic demand remains indifferent.

Russia is ready to halt meat imports from the European Union on May 1 if a single meat import-export veterinary certificate is not agreed with E.U. officials, the agriculture ministry said in Moscow Wednesday.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 3 new features this week

Using South Dakota Grown Field Peas In Swine Diets
By Bob Thaler, Extension swine specialist and Hans Stein, assistant professor, animal science, South Dakota State University - Due to changes in crop rotations, field peas are now more commonly grown in central South Dakota.

Evaluation and Demonstration of Deads Composting
By T. A. Fonstad, D. E. Meier, L. J. Ingram, University of Saskatchewan and J. Leonard, University of Alberta, published by Prairie Swine Centre - The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether composting mortalities is a viable solution for dead animal disposal for hog producers in Saskatchewan.

Controlling Rodents
By Dr Todd See, Swine Genetics Specialist, North Carolina State University - Rats and mice can be a major economic threat around swine facilities. They consume and contaminate feed, and they have been implicated in maintaining or spreading diseases. House mice and Norway rats are considered the most troublesome and economically important. They thrive in and around farms and rural homes, and sometimes inhabit open fields and crops.

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AP - Your Source for swine production equipment

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)

Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Key factors to maximising fertilisation

This weeks tip runs through a list of key factors to maximising fertilisation.

To read this weeks tip, Click Here

NEXT WEEK'S TIPS:
Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: The timing of mating

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MaxiVac-FLU - Swine Influenza Vaccine, Killed Virus

* Finally...

Purdue study supports alliances between pork packers and producers
A study by Purdue University agricultural economists is challenging the claim that business alliances between packers and producers will damage the pork industry, according to Meatingplace.com.

The study concludes that contract market and vertical integration structures that are rapidly replacing traditional spot markets can be good for hog farmers and packers, and provide consumers with consistent, high-quality products.

While profit margins and production volumes can differ depending on market conditions and how closely aligned farmers are with packers, in most cases the relationship can be beneficial to both, said Allan Gray, one of four Purdue agricultural economists who conducted the study. Their findings are detailed in the paper "Evaluation of Alternative Coordination Systems Between Producers and Packers in the Pork Value Chain."

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That's all for this week.

Ed.

P.S Are you this weeks Book Draw Winner? Click Here to find out.

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