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Newsletter 7th March 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 7th March 2005
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Growing the World Pork Market - Common Opportunities. Common Challenges.

* This Weeks Industry Showcase
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Vaccine to aid prevention of disease by swine influenza virus (H1N1, H3N2)

MaxiVac Excell 3MaxiVac Excell 3 is for use in healthy pigs, 5 weeks or older as an aid in the prevention of disease associated with swine influenza virus subtypes H1N1 and H3N2.
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PROGRESSIS - inactivated PRRS vaccine
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Econor from Novartis
Econor – the most potent antibiotic premix available today for the key enteric diseases found in grower and finishing pigs. Find out more here.

Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in the US, where thousands of factory farms nationwide are expected to sign up for a new Environmental Protection Agency compliance program, but the agency will pick only about 30 to monitor levels of gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.
     The EPA program allows owners of farms that house thousands of hogs, chickens or dairy cattle to avoid fines for violating the Clean Air Act by paying a civil penalty up front and volunteering to collect air quality data over a two-year period. They also agree to correct any problems that federal officials uncover.

The NPPC filed public comments last week in support of the EPA's animal feeding operations consent agreement with livestock and poultry producers. “The pork industry is not eagerly facing another round of potentially costly regulations,” said NPPC President Keith Berry. “However, absent legislation exempting agriculture, pork producers recognized that only additional research and the consent agreement could provide fair and valid criteria applicable to agriculture in order to develop new compliance thresholds.”

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain say that wednesday's announcement that a federal judge in Montana has put a stay on USDA's plans to reopen the border to Canadian cattle next Monday appears to have changed the psychology of the market by pushing up beef prices and allowing packers to raise their bids for cattle. The expectation of higher beef prices in stores is also good news for hog producers, they say.

In his Weekly Outlook, Chris Hurt said that lean hog futures are dangling a huge carrot in front of hog producers. That carrot is the opportunity to forward price 2005 production at levels that would result in a repeat of last year's great returns. While no one knows how market events will unfold, there are several bearish clouds that producers need to consider, he said.

Life can be boring when you're a pig stuck in a barn. Unless, of course, your farmer has fancy new technology that's the porcine equivalent of a Disneyland attraction, reports With the FAST II technology, young pigs learn to walk into a chute and over a scale, with a gate gently clicking shut behind them. The pigs are shuttled either to a pen for "heavies" or another for "lights." The system records the various weights within each group.

Canadian pork producers expect favorable rulings when the US Department of Commerce announces final determinations in countervail and antidumping actions against Canadian live hogs, reports Farmscape. The DoC will release final determinations today on countervail and antidumping duty investigations initiated in response to complaints filed by the NPPC.
     In preliminary rulings the DOC found live Canadian hogs are not illegally subsidized and rejected countervail duties but it did find evidence of dumping and imposed antidumping duties ranging from 13.25 to 15.01%, including a 14.06% 'all others' rate.

In the UK, the governments new Environmental Stewardship Schemes have been warmly welcomed by both farmers and environmental groups. The NFU said it would strongly encourage farmers to consider signing up to both the Entry Level Stewardship scheme and the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. The schemes were launched by DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett last Thursday.
     NFU deputy president Peter Kendall said environmental stewardship was at the core of farmers' businesses. "The ELS and the HLS offer the opportunity to improve environmental protection on farm without the need to sacrifice income."
     In a joint statement English Nature, the Rural Development Service and the Countryside Agency said the ELS scheme was great news for the countryside.

AP - Your Source for swine production equipment
AP - Your Source for swine production equipment

Last week, MP's were shown videoed evidence that the government was responsible for the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic in Britain, because it failed to revoke Bobby Waugh's swill-feeding licence, even though the unit was disgusting, reports the NPA. Foot-and-mouth triggered the ban on all swill-feeding, and as government was culpable for the outbreak, the former swill-feeders should be compensated, said Lynda Davies of Associated Swill Users.

UK pigmeat prices have risen sharply during February due to shrinking slaughter numbers and higher EU mainland values, according to FWi. The January weekly UK kill of 172,000 pigs was the lowest recorded figure for six months. Over the same period EU producer prices have risen from an average of 89p to 98p/kg. Average UK spot baconers prices for last week, commencing on Monday, Feb 28, are equivalent to 108p/kg - some 12p ahead of the equivalent EU prices.

The news that an international consortium of research teams has plotted the entire genome of the chicken provides useful information for geneticists selecting for traits in many species. This is especially important for traits that cannot easily be measured in the live animal, such as disease resistance.
     "The challenge will be finding beneficial genes, or regulatory sequences, and using them in a breeding programme in a cost-effective manner," said Dr Grant Walling, senior geneticist with international pig-breeding company, JSR Genetics.

In France, the pig herd continues to contract. Results of the country's November survey, show the herd fell a further 100,000 head, to almost 15.2 million pigs, according to Farming Life.
     However, the rate of decline is expected to ease somewhat in the future, given that the French pig industry now has a lower production, coupled with a strong export demand and a decline in feed prices.

Vira-Matrix - Herd Health, Naturally.
Vira-Matrix - Herd Health, Naturally.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 3 new features this week:

Measuring pig metabolism by water consumption and ventilation rate
By Nick Bird for FarmEx - The aim of pig production is to convert a low value product (pig feed) into a high value product (pig meat) as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. This is achieved by pig metabolism, but unlike other production processes we have relatively limited insight into what is really happening in a typical production situation.

Composting for Mortality Disposal on Hog Farms
By Allen F. Harper, Extension Animal Scientist-Swine, and Mark J. Estienne, Swine Research Physiologist, Virginia Tech Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia State University - Even on well-managed hog farms, some animals die before being marketed. For example, a 1,200-sow farm that produces 2.2 litters per sow per year and sells weanling pigs may need to dispose of 36 sow carcasses and 7,920 stillborn and other dead piglets annually.

China Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2005
By USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - This article provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2005 report for China. A link to the full report is also provided. The full report includes all the tabular data which we have omitted from this article.

M+ PAC - Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae Bacterin
M+ PAC - Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae Bacterin

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Diseases that Directly Affect Reproductive Loss - Blue Eye Disease (BE)

This weeks tip looks at Blue Eye Disease (BE).

This weeks tip: Diseases that Directly Affect Reproductive Loss - Blue Eye Disease (BE)

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases that Directly Affect Reproductive Loss - Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVD) and Border Disease (BD)

* Finally...

Many labels on food 'misleading'

     UK - The nutritional information on some food products is "wildly inaccurate", a consumer magazine has warned.
     Which? looked at 570 nutrients in 70 products and found just 7% exactly matched the quantities on the labels. Some 17% fell outside the accepted 20% margin of error, including a "kids" pizza with 47% more sugar than stated, reports the BBC.
     Currently there is no specific law about how accurate the information on food labels should be - they need only show average nutrition values. These can be worked out in different ways, none of which is 100% reliable.
     The most accurate method is to analyse the food. But even this is not foolproof, as batches of the same food can differ nutritionally. Lacors, the body that advises trading standards officers about enforcing food laws, says that an error margin of 20% either side of the labelled value was acceptable. This can be as high as 30% where nutrients make up between 2% and 5% of a food.
     Which? editor Malcolm Coles said: "Nutrition labels help people compare foods and make healthy choices, but only if they're accurate. "How can you trust what you're eating when so many labels fall outside even the fairly generous margins of error allowed?"

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

That's all for this week.


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