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Newsletter 6th December 2004's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 6th December 2004
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

Browse and buy PJ 54 on-line Pig Journal - Volume 54

The latest edition of the Pig Journal is now available to browse and buy.
     You will find all the article titles and abstracts on-line at where you can browse the contents and order copies of this and other Journals.

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the US, where Chris Hurt, extension economist at Purdue University, reminisces the days that rural communities throughout the Midwest regarded hogs as the "mortgage lifters."
     That reputation was lost after the early 1990's as technology and size of operations changed leaving mostly negative margins for family farms that could not meet the new industry standards. This year, margins are back in the black and 2005 looks very good as well...

In this week's review, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that retail pork prices in October fell 0.4% from September's, however average retail prices from January through October 2004 were up 5.3% from 2003. All of the increase in retail pork prices plus some was built into live hog prices which were up nearly 39% in October from a year earlier.

After years in the hinterlands of American culture, when declining demand and profits drove away hundreds of thousands of farmers, pork is becoming cool again, reports the Washington Post. And some of the farmers who survived are making a whole lot of money.
     Keith J. Collins, chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said U.S. producers are likely to sell $15.1 billion worth of hogs this year, compared with $10.6 billion in 2003. However, analysts say there is something intangible in pork's rise, something that can't be explained in a chart...

With agricultural officials in the US still dealing with worries over mad cow disease, opponents of MCOOL are still plotting to kill it, said Dave Frederickson, President of the NFU.
     Frederickson says a mandatory COOL program is an excellent marketing tool for producers, but pressure is being put on Congress by large multinational meatpacking concerns to change MCOOL into a voluntary program.

The USDA has announced continuation of livestock mandatory price reporting as required by the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999. The program's authority has been extended through Sept. 30, 2005.

In Canada, a Humboldt area swine producer says the hog industry must be ready to adapt to changing consumer demands while doing so for less money. Speaking to Farmscape, Big Sky Farms General Manager of Production John Leclare says margins in the pork industry, as with other commodities, have been trending downward for the past 25 years while, at the same time, consumers have become more demanding.

Russia banned pork imports on December 1 from Slovakia's Lucenec region because of the discovery of foot and mouth disease and the real threat of the virus spreading to Russia. The ban concerns live pigs, pork and raw pork products, along with all kinds of prepared pork products, the Agriculture Ministry's press service said.

In Asia, prices of live hogs and pork were mostly up during the week ended December 1, reports eFeedLink. The approaching Christmas and New Year holidays have helped drive prices slightly higher this week.
     In Thailand and Taiwan, live hog prices registered marginal gains in the past week and pork prices rose significantly in Thailand, Japan and Taiwan. With higher demand of pork expected in the festive season, pork prices in the Philippines are likely to rise in the near term.

Suvaxyn - Pig vaccines you can trust
Suvaxyn - Pig vaccines you can trust

In the UK, after nearly five months in the doldrums British pork is making a comeback on supermarket shelves, according to the latest NPA PorkWatch survey, which is carried out by pig farmers in nearly 400 stores across England and Wales.
     The return to British pork is being led by Tesco, which increased the amount of British Quality Standard Pork on its shelves last month by 16% and now leads the field by a clear margin with nearly 90% of all its fresh pork guaranteed British.

With the price of cull sows at its highest level for a number of years, pig producers are being urged to take the opportunity to get rid of older, less productive females and build up their gilt pools.
     Peter Shelton, European managing sales director for JSR Genetics points out that due to the strong trade, cull sows have been making well over £100 per head. "This goes a long way towards the cost of a genetically-improved replacement gilt," he said.

British red meat is currently a marketeers dream says Red Meat Industry Forum chairman Peter Barr at a Smithfield Show. UK red meat consumption is at its highest level for more than a decade, its image is significantly better than in the early 90s and the quality is the best ever. "So at a time when most business sectors are concerned with growing their market demand we have a very robust home market."

Pig prices held steady last week despite the strengthening Euro, reports Peter Crichton on FWi. The current GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price (DAPP) is 99.93p/kg, down almost 8% compared with the same period last year. The Euro mainland average pig price has closed with the UK to 95p/kg. Spot and contract pig prices for the week commencing Nov 29 are showing a slightly easier trend with baconers traded at 98-102p/kg and lighter weight selling at a 4-6p/kg premium.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

Factors that affect Feet and Leg Soundness
By Todd See, NCSU Swine Extension - The National Animal Health Monitoring System (2001) reports that structural, including feet and leg problems, unsoundness is the reason for removal of 16 percent of the culled swine breeding herd and accounts for 7.3 of the death loss in finishers. Factors that may affect structural soundness include genetics, level of production, sex, nutrition, disease, floor surface, equipment location and space.

Market Integration in the North American Hog Industries
By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - About 8 percent of the hogs slaughtered in the U.S. in 2004 will originate in Canada—many more than 10 years ago. Canadian hogs have flowed into the U.S. in response to significant structural changes in the U.S. pork industry, concurrent with policy changes in Canada. This, combined with a strong U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rate, created incentives to expand hog operations in Ontario and to start production in Manitoba. In 15 years, an open border and pronounced breeding herd efficiencies helped to increase Canadian hog exports to the United States by more than eight-fold.

Ivomec - Better products mean better results
Ivomec - Better products mean better results

Practical Application of Enzyme Supplementation in Swine
By Ruurd T. Zijlstra and published by the Prairie Swine Center - Application of enzymes to improve nutrients digestibility of plant-based feed ingredients for swine and poultry has now been studies for decades. An overview of considerations and practical application of enzyme supplementation in swine will be presented.

Long-term effects of dietary organic and inorganic selenium sources and levels on reproducing sows and their progeny
Mahan DC, Peters JC, Ohio State University - An experiment evaluated the effects of feeding either a basal non-Se-fortified diet, two Se sources (organic or inorganic) each providing 0.15 and 0.30 ppm Se, or their combination (each providing 0.15 ppm Se) on gilt growth and sow reproductive performance.

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
Buy this book
Click book for more details

Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Factors that affect Reproduction on the Farm 2 of 7

This weeks tip gives a checklist for the Mating Area - Outdoor Production

This weeks tip: Factors that affect Reproduction on the Farm 2 of 7

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Factors that affect Reproduction on the Farm 3 of 7 - A checklist for the Mating Area- Indoor production

JSR Genetics, JSR Healthbred - Genetics you can trust
JSR Genetics, JSR Healthbred - Genetics you can trust

* Finally...

Technology Eases Shift From Conventional to Group Housing

     A Peace River Region swine producer says state of the art technology has allowed his operation to shift from conventional to large group housing without sacrificing productivity.
     Rocky Morrill operates Peace River Pork, an eight thousand head farrow to finish swine production unit, near Dawson Creek, BC.
     He says his biggest consideration when shifting to large group housing was labor.
     "We used to have our conventional shoebox system where you run 22 pigs in each pen, then this innovation came forth with going to large groups of 500 or more and using an autosort scale to actually weight the pigs and go through that.
     The big drive for that was basically the labor involved in managing and weighing the pigs so this is why we tried to adopt this innovation.
     When you have to go into a barn of eight thousand pigs and you have staff of three or what ever and they have to weigh and process all those animals to get them ready for the packing plant, it's quite an arduous job to actually weigh all of those pigs or at least weigh some of them.
     The key target here is that you reduce a lot of that labor now that the pigs basically are walking through a scale on their own which automatically will sort the heavies from the light using a micro-computer and then also you're hitting more in that target weight range which should give you back some economical benefit.
     The big one was just the labor aspect. It's a very tough job. You have to be very sensitive to the people working in these units and how much work they had to go through to do this job so that alone was probably one of the biggest influences in going with this."
     Morrill says, while large group housing requires different management and involves a learning curve, growth rates, feed conversion and mortality rates can be equally good under this system.

Virkon S - The Ultimate Broad Spectrum Virucidal Disinfectant
Virkon S - The Ultimate Broad Spectrum Virucidal Disinfectant

That's all for this week.


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