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Newsletter 28th June 2004's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 28th June 2004
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

This week sees the 18th International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) meeting which is being held in Hamburg, Germany. We wish everyone attending an enjoyable conference, Hamburg is a great place to spend a fews days. For more details go to:

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* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in the US, where traders are giving the latest Quarterly Hogs & Pigs report a neutral to slightly friendly read in terms of market impact, reports AgWeb. Ron Plain and Glen Grimes commented the report was a little more positive than expected with the total number of hogs on June 1 up 1%, breeding head down 2% and market herd up 1%. The pair expect prices at terminal markets to average $47-50 this quarter and $42-45 per cwt. in the 4th quarter.

Experts have warned and research has show that swine influenza virus (SIV) is a costly, year-round disease in US swine herds. Incidence may spike in fall and spring, but the virus still circulates and infects sows and pigs in summer so backing off vaccination could well cost producers money in the long run, according to a recent study by Iowa State university.

National Women Involved in Farm Economics called the Goodlatte-Stenholm legislation to replace MCOOL with a voluntary program a “smokescreen to eliminate all COOL”, according group President Ina Selfridge. “Voluntary COOL... has not been widely used. Why would Congress believe processors and distributors would suddenly embrace a voluntary program now?” Selfridge says.

The ban of US beef in the Japanese market has led to a significant shift to pork consumption in Japan, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. Recently released figures reveal consumption of pork in Japan jumped 45% to an historically high level in April this year.

In Canada, scientists at the Prairie Swine Centre have kicked off a two and a half year study to assess the effect of stall size on the productivity of the breeding herd. Research Scientist Dr. Harold Gonyou says the sow will double its weight during its reproductive life and will spend less time lying and more time sitting or standing, suggesting a lack of comfort.

Canadian food safety officials are said to be considering a total ban on ruminant protein – cattle and sheep – from all livestock feed. Many researchers believe that BSE is spread from animal to animal through prions in the feed. Currently in Canada – as well as in the US – feed manufacturers and livestock producers can feed rations containing ruminant protein to non-ruminants – mainly pigs and poultry.

Pork consumption in New Zealand has reached a record high, with an average person consuming more than 19 kg during the year ending 31 March 2004. According to figures released by the New Zealand Pork Industry Board, this represents a 6.7% increase over the previous year.

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The European Commission is providing 12 million euro for a new project that aims to improve the quality of animal products. A virtual European laboratory will be created to study the genomics of host-pathogen interactions. Bringing together 14 partners from ten countries, the network will be dedicated to the major farm animal species, including farmed fish.

Irish pig producers are being short-changed on prices it has been claimed. Pat O'Keeffe, chairman of the Irish Farmers' Union Pigs Committee, said that the IFA "finds it totally unacceptable" that the substantial market improvement for pigs across the EU over the past month had not been passed back to Irish producers.

UK pig prices remain unsettled for the week commencing June 21, despite the rising value of imports, says Peter Crichton on FWi. With the exception of one or two west country abattoirs, demand for spot cutters and baconers remains selective with cheap imports still penetrating the UK market. There will soon be little difference in value between UK and imported pigmeat prices, which should help to stabilise the domestic market says Crichton.

The creation of its own health and welfare plan is a vital step forward for the British pig industry, said BPEX chairman Stewart Houston. Speaking at the launch of Defra's animal health and welfare strategy, he said an improvement in the welfare of the national pig herd would translate into improved competitiveness which would benefit all.

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* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week

Sorting Pigs by Weight for all-In/All-Out or Continuous Flow Facilities
By Harold Gonyou and Colin Peterson and published by Prairie Swine Center - Two trials were conducted to determine if pigs should be sorted by weight at the beginning of the growing/finishing phase and if this decision is dependent upon the use of all in/all out (AI/AO) or continuous pig flow management.

U.S.D.A Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Report: June 2004
This quarter's quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The article provides the report text and graphs, and helps explain what it all means. Link also to the full PDF report.

Loin eye size and what factors drive it?
By Daniel Hurnik, Industry Chair for Swine Research, published by Atlantic Swine Research Partnership - Now that some producers in Atlantic Canada are being paid for a larger loin eye, producers are asking what factors can increase the size of the loin eye. The following is an explanation of what loin eye is and what changes it.

Pork Outlook Report - June 2004
By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the June 2004: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Pork Industry data. The report indicates that higher pork production accompanied by higher producer prices for hogs and retail prices for pork continue to define the pork sector this spring.

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Mouldy Feed

This weeks tip looks at how to prevent mouldy feed.

To read this weeks tip, Click Here

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Infectious agents which may cause abortion

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* Finally...

The removal of AGPs from swine diets - Ian Cambell, NPA

    I know I should say antibiotic growth promoter instead of AGP in order to avoid chastisement but I do feel uncomfortable with the thought that we use these products simply to make pigs grow faster.
     They do, of course, but only because the ingredients aid the gut flora to digest food more effectively and reduce the sort of digestive upsets that precipitate ill health.
     2006 will see the remaining AGPs withdrawn from European use despite the lack of scientific evidence that they play any role in reducing the effectiveness of any antibiotics in use in human medicine. There is no point in dwelling on that fact, any more than there is on the reduction of copper in pigs diets, an EU measure that clearly has relevance for the Low Countries with their worries about heavy metal contamination of soil but of very little importance for our own soils.
     A number of you will have been using diets from which you have excluded AGPs and we, at NPA, would like to hear of the factors that in your opinion have helped make this possible. There may be specific nutritional routes that have achieved a similar impact on gut flora, it may be batching systems have enable all in all out practices with the accompanying hygiene benefits or you may have dropped weaning age back to allow a more mature piglet digestion.
     The last point is one that I particularly noted in recent trips to Denmark where weaning age is now averaging over 30 days as they have absorbed lessons from their unilateral ban on AGPs two to three years ago. As so often with livestock, management changes bring pluses and minuses and whilst one notes from Danish information an interesting possible benefit from later weaning on subsequent litter size (the uterus given that bit longer to recover after farrowing?) on the minus side comes space limitation in the farrowing pen and length of occupation for the sow.
     So, what can you bring to the knowledge party that will help shape adjustments to AGP removal? We should pick Danish brains for all we are worth but there is much valuable information within our own ranks to be shared.

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That's all for this week.


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