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Newsletter 22nd November 2004's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 22nd November 2004
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the US, where the National Pork Producers Council President Keith Berry commended Congress for passing legislation to extend the Mandatory Price Reporting provision for one year. “Timely and accurate market information is important to producers throughout the country, including the fact that today 53 percent of hogs sold in the U.S, are priced by using this system,” Berry said.

Senator-elect John Thune says he would go straight to the top if need be to help keep mandatory country-of-origin labeling for meat and other foods. The 2002 Farm Bill required the USDA to implement COOL by September 2004. But last year, lawmakers delayed implementation until September 2006 by inserting language into an omnibus spending bill. Thune recently defeated Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, one of the strongest champions of the labeling legislation.

Meanwhile, ninty-five agriculture-related organizations have signed a joint letter to several U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to oppose any amendments to weaken or repeal the MCOOL law, according to MeatNews. The coalition sending the letter calls itself "Americans for Country of Origin Labeling" and collectively represents more than 50 million U.S. voters the sponsors said.

University of Missouri Agricultural Economist Ron Plain says that most American swine producers who buy Canadian feeder pigs expect the duty on those pigs to remain in effect for a year or so. Last month the US Commerce Department imposed a 14.06% preliminary antidumping duty on the majority of live Canadian slaughter hogs and feeder pigs entering the US.

In their weekly review of the hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that unbelievable demand is resulting in continued strong hog prices throught November. Cash negotiated prices this Friday were $0.50 to $1.00 higher than a week earlier and 60% above a year ago. A lot of this strength is put down to growth in net export hogs, which has "added about $10 per hog to gross revenue and producer profit" the pair report.

In the UK, FWi reportrs the Royal Agricultural Societies have agreed a four-point plan to encourage a culture of change, fearing producers have become "transfixed by uncertainty" over the future of farming post CAP reform.
     Agriculture needed vibrant, viable businesses, said Ben Gill, former NFU president. Change would not happen overnight nor, indeed, at all depending on producers' points of view, he warned. Industry figures suggest 30% would embrace change, 50% convert slowly and 20% reject change.

Bakers of mince pies, Christmas puddings and other traditional British treats have been warned that they might be facing a lard-free Christmas this year. Supermarkets say stocks of the shortening, made from rendered pig fat, were running low due to surging demand from pork-loving new members of the European Union.
     Jamie Sitzia, spokeswoman for the Somerfield supermarket chain, said this week that the admission of 10 new EU countries in May had been followed by "unprecedented demand from Eastern European countries such as Poland and Hungary for the cheapest cuts of pork to meet their demand for sausages, salamis and pies."

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In the Philippines, an official of the Hog Raisers Association has denied that hog raisers are making money even as he urged the government for support so that the industry will not meet its untimely demise, reports Hoovers News.
     Dr. Rodolfo Custodio, HRAP vice president and president of the Hog Raisers Association of Pangasinan, said on the contrary, they are not making money because of the high cost of production, especially the spiraling price of feeds, transportation and other sundry expenses.

World demand for pork continues to grow despite rising prices, reports eFeedLink. During the first 6 months of 2004, average wholesale pork prices in the United States, Europe and Japan increased by more than 15 percent. Retail prices have remained relatively more stable, helping to sustain world consumption at record levels.
     As beef and poultry markets gradually recover from the disruptions of BSE and avian influenza, growth in world pork consumption should continue, although at a slower rate. Pork remains the most widely consumed meat protein around the world, even though poultry is catching up.

Lying mats or plastic boards are commonly used to improve comfort for young pigs in slatted accommodation. When dry, these raise the effective temperature of the pigs by 3ºC. However, if the mats get soiled and wet they can fail to fulfil their purpose or worst, cause scouring.
     One reason why this happens is that the mats are cold on entry, leading them to become damp through condensation when the pigs enter explains Mark White, JSR Genetics' consultant veterinary surgeon.
     To avoid this happening, if the whole room cannot be pre-heated, it is wise to stand the mats in a warm atmosphere, such as an occupied first-stage room until immediately before or after the pigs enter their new accommodation. Alternatively switch the mats on 30 minutes before the pigs enter.

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* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 3 new features this week:

Benefits of feeding phytase to growing-finishing pigs
By A.M. Hawkins and C.M. Nyachoti, Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba and J. Sands, Danisco Animal Nutrition. Published by Manitoba Pork Council - Managing phosphorus nutrition for swine is not only important for optimizing the performance and health of animals, but for ensuring that phosphorus excretion from swine is minimized in order to help with soil nutrient management.

Tech Talk: Maintaining a guard against mycotoxins
By BPEX - Grain quality is likely to have been affected by bad weather during the harvest. Pig producers are urged to be extra vigilant to ensure the quality of cereal grains going into feed is maintained so pig health, feed intake and performance do not suffer.

Effect of Starter Feeding Regimen on Variability in Bodyweight and Performance in the Nursery
By Denise Beaulieu, John Patience, Ruurd Zijlstra and Ryan Mohr, Prairie Swine Centre - Variability in growth and performance is a concern to pork producers due to the associated negative impact on revenues and expenditures. This experiment was designed to determine the effect of starter program on the variability in animal weights at nursery exit.

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Maintaining longevity in the breeding female

This weeks tip lists the key points to maintaining longevity in the breeding female.

This weeks tip: Maintaining longevity in the breeding female

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Factors that affect Reproduction on the Farm 1 of 7 - Biosecurity and Management Audit - Indoor and outdoor production

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* Finally...

Farmer's Hog Tops Scales at 1,600-Pounds

    Bob Peterson has one big pig on his hands. The hog named Norm, after the character on "Cheers," weighs an estimated 1,600-pounds, stands four feet high and measures seven feet from snout to tail.
     Norm lives on Peterson's Madison County farm in central New York. The retired state trooper from Connecticut says the three-year-old hog may be the world's biggest pig.
     Heather Sweeney, a livestock specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension in neighboring Oneida County, says a three-year-old pig normally would top out at 500 pounds.
     Word has spread among Peterson's farmer neighbors, and scores of them have showed up to get a look at the big pig.
     Peterson says Norm will never wind up as bacon. The pig has become a mascot for his farm and Peterson says the huge porker will live out the rest of his life without being sold for meat.

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That's all for this week.


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