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Newsletter 14th February 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 14th February 2005
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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 Glen Grimes and Ron Plain report that pork product prices were mixed for the week but held up relatively well for the size of the slaughter. The report says there is a need to continue to reduce the breeding herd 1-2% annually to keep pace with the long term demand growth of 1.5% a year, however the figures suggest the herd is expanding slowly.
     Even though the US packer capacity is expected to increase by late 2005, with the current record high hog prices, 2005 pork production could rise to more than the industry can process, reports the Pork Checkoff. However, they suggest that it looks like the pork industry probably is okay on capacity for this fall, even though there is going to be some days when that is challenged.
     In his latest Outlook report, Chris Hurt, Extension Economist at Purdue University, indicates that it's going to be another great hog year in 2005, or at least that is the initial outlook. The two big reasons analyst missed the outlook a year ago were the dramatic reduction in feed costs after March of 2004 and the strength of pork demand. Pork supplies rose by 3 percent yet prices were an amazing 33 percent higher. Therefore, to suggest the market can repeat an extraordinary 2004 may be skating on thin ice, but that is the best forecast at this point.

In 2004, the US pork industry sold more than $2 billion worth and more than 1 million metric tons of pork and pork variety meat products to export markets for the first time. With the release of December statistics by the USDA, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reports that U.S. pork (including variety meat) exports to countries around the world totaled $2.227 billion in 2004, which, according to USMEF, is more than half a billion dollars more than the value of U.S. pork exported in 2003.

In Georgia, the state Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a plan to shield animal rendering plants from being sued for being a nuisance. On a vote of 50-4, the Senate added the plants - which have triggered lawsuits and citizen complaints in several parts of the state - to a long list of farming interests already protected under Georgia law.

In Canada, the Manitoba Pork Council says the Canadian swine industry's defense in the countervail and antidumping action, initiated by the NPPC, continues to gain strength. If the US International Trade Commission determines imported Canadian pigs are not harming the US industry, the antidumping duties will be eliminated and duties already collected will be refunded. Given the strength of the US hog market at present Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says Canada's position is looking better and better.

Canada's pork industry expects to have a protocol in place by spring seeding to help swine producers calculate the number of greenhouse gas reduction credits their farms could be eligible to trade, reports Farmscape. A pork technical working group, chaired by Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, began developing a systems based greenhouse gas quantification protocol last April.

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

In the UK, pork fans would pay 5% more on their weekly grocery bills if pigs were raised to better welfare standards, according to a study of 2000 Northern Irish households. The study also found that over half of respondents believed welfare issues were not adequately publicised. That would mean an extra £1/week on an average shopping bill of £40, said author Catherine Glass, who produced the study for the Department of Agriculture.

Lack of confidence in the viability of the pig sector has hit investment, says a wide-ranging survey into research and development by industry leaders. Researchers for BPEX, MLC and the NPA received 50% of responses from pig producers with the balance from allied trades. Over 60% of the producers polled quoted production costs of between 91-110p/kg deadweight.

Britian's first manure driven power station is facing closure despite generating enough electricity for 1,000 homes from little more than cowpats. The project, which has won several environmental awards, was funded partly by the taxpayer but was forced into administration after the German company that built the plant went bust. The plant was also facing a £250,000 bill to contain unpleasant smells seeping from its giant slurry pit.

Significant saving in interest charges should be possible if the Rural Payments Agency achieves its objective of making the new single farm payment available in Euros. At a recent DEFRA briefing, the RPA revealed that it is seeking permission from Brussels for farmers to receive their SFPs either in sterling or in euros.
     It is hoped this will be approved in time for 2005 payments. "Once in place, farmers will then have the opportunity to take out euro-loans from their banks without any exchange rate risk," said Barclays agricultural policy director Euryn Jones.

Northern Ireland is now the benchmark for the rest of the United Kingdom in the campaign to reduce Salmonella levels in pigmeat by 50 per cent over the coming five years, Farming Life learned yesterday. The driving force behind this initiative is a Salmonella testing campaign which was launched in 2003.
     Funded by the Province's three slaughtering facilities - Grampian Country Pork, Stevenson's and Robert Grant - the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum-co-ordinated testing campaign is providing a unique insight into the Salmonella status on pig farms across Northern Ireland.

In India, pollution levels in air, water and immediate environment have gone up affecting quality of life, reports NewsToday. In a way, the rapid advancement of technology has resulted in deterioration of the environment around us, and we need affordable and sustainable products and systems to work in the reduction of rising pollution levels, said Professor E Balagurusamy, Anna University.
     Speaking at the launch of Eco Bio Block (EBB), a cluster of volcanic porous rocks infused with active microbes, he said that the introduction of EBB for the first time in India would help in the fight against pollution of water bodies such as rivers, lakes and tanks, besides recycling aquarium and household sewage and agriculture waste by doing away with organic effluents.

MaxiVac Excell 3 - Swine Influenza Vaccine, H1N1 & H3N2, Killed Virus
MaxiVac Excell 3 - Swine Influenza Vaccine, H1N1 & H3N2, Killed Virus

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

China’s New Farm Subsidies
By Fred Gale, Bryan Lohmar, and Francis Tuan for the USDA's Economic Research Service - In 2004, China entered a new era in its approach to agricultural policy, as it began to subsidize rather than tax agriculture. China introduced direct subsidies to farmers, began to phase out its centuries-old agricultural tax, subsidized seed and machinery purchases, and increased spending on rural infrastructure.

Impact of genetic selection on management of boar replacement
By J.A.B. Robinson, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph and M. Buhr, Corresponding author. This paper briefly reviews current optimum genetic selection procedures and how an AI stud can best manage their selection program; looks at the traits that may be selected for in the future; and examines the implications of genetic selection on the day-to-day handling of boars in an AI station.

Livestock Price Outlook - January 2005
By Chris Hurt, Extension Economist, Purdue University - In his latest Outlook report, Chris Hurt indicates that it's going to be another great hog year in 2005, or at least that is the outlook at the advent of the sixth year of the century.

UK/EU Pig Statistics - January 2005
This article provides an overview of the latest statistics relating to pigs in the UK and Europe and includes Slaughter figures, Carcase weights, Pigmeat production, trade and supplies and UK and EU Prices and value of pigs. Extracted from the quarterly pig bulletin published by Defra.

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* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
Buy this book
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Diseases and conditions affecting Reproduction - Virus Infections Causing Infertility

This weeks tip looks at Virus Infections Causing Infertility

This weeks tip: Diseases and conditions affecting Reproduction - Virus Infections Causing Infertility

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases and conditions affecting Reproduction - Bacterial and Fungal Diseases Causing Infertility

* Finally...

Spanish Down on the Farm

    Increasingly, Spanish-speaking workers are playing greater roles in the swine and dairy industries in Illinois. One result is that traditional University of Illinois Extension programs that help ag workers and managers do better jobs need to be re-tooled and offered in Spanish.
     "We looked at the situation and realized that there was no mechanism for getting these programs to the workers because of the language barrier," recalls Rob Knox, U of I Extension swine reproduction specialist and faculty member in the Department of Animal Sciences. "Producers were interested in our programs but they needed a way to deliver it to their Spanish-speaking workers."
     Delivering information programming in two languages at the same time posed a significant challenge. Knox overcame that by teaming up with Illinois faculty and graduate students and faculty from Indiana and Missouri to develop a bilingual course in swine reproduction.
     "Some of the existing written material was in English, while other materials need to be developed, so we had to have new and old material translated and reprinted in Spanish," he explains. "But during the presentation itself, we faced the challenge of how to handle the translation of a lecture."
     Since Knox is not fluent in Spanish and he felt that instant translation might distract both English and Spanish speakers, he opted for sequential translation. In other words, he would pause in his lecture and let the translator relay his or her remarks in Spanish to the group.
     Visual aids were also doubled. One screen displayed slides with English texts; the other screen featured Spanish.
     "We used both languages because many English-speaking owners or operators participated and they needed to hear what was being covered," he says. "The sequential translation left a little bit of dead time but that was good because it gave extra time to absorb what had just been said or what was on the screen.

Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable
Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable

That's all for this week.


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