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Newsletter 31st October 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 31st October 2005
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* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the US, where meat processors such as Tyson Foods Inc. are likely to not be forced to label the origin of their products until 2008, under a joint recommendation from congressional appropriation committees.
     Members of the Senate and House of Representatives reached agreement Thursday on the Appropriations bill. Both chambers will vote on the recommendations, which include delaying mandatory country-of-origin labeling until Sept. 30, 2008.
     The mandatory program was part of President Bush's 2002 Farm Bill and was supposed to begin in September 2004. Implementation was delayed because of a provision in the 2005 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that hog prices were pushed lower again this week, but it is October and lower prices for hogs are the norm going through October and November.
     The news about pork demand continues to be negative. Pork demand for January-September was down 4.8 percent and July-September was down over 7 percent.
     The good news is that the demand for live hogs for January-September was down only 0.3 percent. The bad news, again, is that live hog demand for July-September was down about 4 percent. For the third quarter of 2004, live hog demand was up about 10 percent.

In his regular report on the US Swine industry, Ron Plain says that each fall slaughter weights increase and this year is no exception. The average weight of barrows and gilts marketed in Iowa-Minnesota the first week of October was 266.7 pounds, 6.1 pounds heavier than six weeks earlier and 3.9 pounds heavier than a year ago.
     Hog prices decline each fall because daily pork production increases in the fall. About 80% of the increase in pork production from August to November is due to increased hog slaughter and 20% is due to heavier slaughter weights.

The total number of market and breeding pigs in the United States and Canada rose slightly to 76.4 million head in September 2005 – compared to September 2004, according to a joint report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Statistics Canada.
     The September 2005 inventory was up approximately one percent from September 2003, reflecting a trend towards a larger combined pig herd.
     The September 2005 breeding inventory, at 7.61 million head, was up less than one percent from a year ago but down slightly from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 68.8 million head, was up slightly from last year, and up one percent from last quarter. The pig crop, at 34.3 million head, was up one percent from 2003, but virtually unchanged from 2004. The number of sows farrowed during this period totaled 3.75 million head, down slightly from last year.

Canadian swine producers are being advised to be prepared in advance for the next US industry initiated trade action, according to Farmscape. This past spring a US antidumping duty on imported live Canadian swine was repealed and duties collected refunded after the US International Trade Commission determined the imports did not harm US producers.
     The biggest concern for Canadian producers now is that a proposed Canadian duty on US corn will drive up Canadian feed prices making it harder to cover production costs adding to the risk of another trade challenge. Washington based trade lawyer Dan Porter is advising his clients to be ready to hit the ground running.
In anticipation of the next US challenge to imported live swine, Canadian producers are making every effort to strengthen alliances with their U.S. based business partners in hopes that it will be American producers that will head off the next U.S. challenge, according to Farmscape.
     Since April, when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered an end to preliminary antidumping duties on live Canadian swine, several cross border initiatives have been undertaken on both sides of the 48th parallel to strengthen trade relations but the tensions have not yet been entirely erased.

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EU member states compliance with Brussels animal by-products regulation has generally been satisfactory, but some changes may need to be made to the regulation to make measures 'more proportionate to the risks' and remove unnecessary obstacles to the competitiveness of industry, according to the European Commission.
     A report describing the experience of member states in applying the Animal By-Products Regulation will be used as a 'reflection paper' on medium and long-term changes to the legislation. The Commission will develop proposals for amendments to the regulation, to be agreed by the end of next year or early 2007.
     The regulation, applicable since May 2003, was adopted in response to various food-borne crises. It lays down rules for the handling, processing, use and disposal of animal by-products unfit for human consumption.

Food processors will now be able to tell where their meat supplies originated just by scanning the ears of the livestock and plugging a number into an Internet data bank. The system speeds up the process of tracing the history of an animal. The free system has been set up by ScoringAg as part of the company's expansion of its online tracking and traceability system for food supply chains.
     The system is part of the new push to meet US regulations covering traceability, or record keeping. The EU and the US have adopted similar rules that require food companies to keep records of the operator immediately before them in the supply chain and the operator immediately after them.

Pork may be sacrificed on the world trade altar. It could be about to lose its 'sensitive product' status in world trade talks, reports the NPA. Its current sensitive status does not protect pork from tariff cuts, but it does mean cuts, when applied, would be smaller. But now Brussels has said it will reduce its number of sensitive agricultural products.
     The European Union has tabled a new offer in the Doha round. It has called on other countries to make similar concessions. Trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said: “This offer is substantial, offering new market access in agriculture and driving down trade-distorting farm subsidies."

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In the UK, high profile disease outbreaks such as BSE, foot-and-mouth and most recently bovine TB, have put the health of British livestock under the microscope and damaged consumer confidence. And, in an emerging EU and competitive trade market, the UK can ill afford to risk the reputation of its key commodities.
     As the farming community works to tackle the numerous threats to animal well-being, the tide will eventually turn as a result of innovative livestock surveillance technology - Techno-Vets. One of ADAS' Blue Sky 35 predictions for the future of farming and the environment in 35 years' time, the Techno-Vet concept is a way of managing livestock to allow for early disease detection.

Despite reports of better conception rates and lower mortality, the latest UK slaughter figures have underlined the lack of growth in the industry. The average UK clean pig kill for the third quarter of 2005 averaged 171,000 head/week. This compares with a twelve month average ending in September 2004 of 173,400 per week.
     The June 2005 UK Pig Census indicated a 10% drop in breeding sow numbers over the previous twelve months. At that time, the Meat and Livestock Commission reported the total number of rearing and finishing pigs had risen by 1% indicating improvements in herd health and productivity, but these benefits have yet to feed through to slaughter numbers.

In this weeks China hog report, eFeedLink report that piglet prices were mostly lower in the week ending Oct 27. Supply continues to outstrip demand amid the slow down in piglet stock replenishment.
     The peak season in crop production has basically ended in the northern provinces of Henan, Shandong and Hebei. However, the persistent weakness in live hog prices had caused farmers there to make fewer piglet replenishment.

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In Australia, the High Court will allow Australian Pork Limited to pursue its case against quarantine measures for imported pig meat. The pork industry wants to overturn a decision by the Federal Government to allow imports from countries affected by the pig disease, post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS).
     Justice McHugh has agreed to expedite the case, which means the High Court will hear the application for special leave to appeal next month and if the industry wins there will be a full hearing next year. APL chief executive Andrew Spencer says a PMWS outbreak could cost Australia as much as $200 million every year.

Company news

On 28th of September 2005 the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture signed a contract with Intervet agreeing a vaccine bank of Porcilis Pesti, Intervet's marker vaccine against Classical Swine Fever.
     The agreement covers a reserve of 500 000 doses of the vaccine for emergency vaccination in case of an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is the first European country establishing such a vaccine bank for emergency vaccination against Classical Swine Fever, after the European commission decided in 2004 to set up community stocks.

The Titan Pork Partners scheme aims to improve carcase yield in the most expensive cuts and ensure product consistency by using selected JSR sire and damlines. JSR Genetics have created a 'tailor made' index and a set of selection criteria to apply to their Titan terminal sire to meet the requirements of Geo Adams. The result is the exclusively selected 'Adams Titan'.
     To be eligible for the scheme a producer must produce a cross between an Adams Titan and a Genepacker 90. A bonus will be paid per pig based on the extra value of the Adams Titan carcase when compared to an average pig.

Bull semen specialist Genus is to buy pig breeder Sygen International (PIC) for an agreed £187m, it emerged last week. The offer, worth 63.2p cash per share, is a 37% premium to Sygen's closing share price on 11 October, the last day before it announced receiving an approach.
     Sygen shareholders will still be entitled to the final dividend worth 0.8p per share. The offer is classified by the AIM rules as a reverse takeover and is therefore conditional upon, amongst other things, approval by Genus shareholders.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 5 new features this week:

Seven ways to reduce energy costs
By Jay Harmon, Ph.D., P.E., Iowa State University and Mark Boggess, Ph.D., National Pork Board - The high price of energy will impact many activities on the farm. Not only are prices at the gasoline pump high, but as oil and energy costs rise, natural gas, propane, and fertilizer will be more expensive, too.

Managing Lawsonia intracellularis infections in a large production system in the USA
By Dr Andrew John Holtcamp, Iowa Select Farms - Our production system raises approximately 2.5 million pigs per year, out of a total US production of 100 million pigs. Production facilities are typical for the Midwestern U.S. We have an average sow farm size of 4,000 sows, with approximately 1,500 new gilts per farm per year. Nursery and finishers are housed separately off site (multi-site production).

Annual United States Animal Health Report (for 2004)
By the USDA's APHIS - This article is the first report on the status of animal health in the United States. As an annual publication, the Animal Health Report will be updated and refined each year to ensure that it addresses issues of current importance to its stakeholders. Here we provide the introduction, contents and a link to the full report.

Developing the “Canada Brand”
By Richard Davies and presented at the 2005 Banff Pork Seminar - The purpose of this presentation was to validate the significant importance of the current and future generic branding efforts and initiatives coordinated by the Canadian Pork Industry.

U.S. - Canadian Hogs and Pigs Quarterly Report: October 2005
This new quarterly report from National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Statistics Canada reports on the combined US and Canadian hog inventory.

Enterisol Ileitis - The oral vaccine against ileitis
Enterisol Ileitis - The oral vaccine against ileitis

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - An Overview

This weeks tip looks at Vulval Biting.

This weeks tip: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - Vulval Biting.

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - An Overview - Thin Sow Syndrome.

* Finally...

Italian laboratory clones 14 pigs

     The Italian researchers who produced the first horse clone have announced the birth of 14 cloned piglets. The animals were born several weeks ago at the Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona.
     Research leader Prof Cesare Galli said the pigs would help in understanding animal to human organ transplants. Scientists have now cloned sheep, mice, cattle, goats, rabbits, cats, pigs, mules and dogs.
     The first horse clone - a Halflinger mare named Prometea - was born at the research laboratory in the summer of 2003. Cow clones have also been produced there. The latest experiment was carried out as part of a European Union project to study stem cells in cloned animals.
     Stem cells are the body's master cells, and have the ability to become many different adult tissues. Scientists are interested in using the pig as a model for transplantation research because it is close to the human in terms of anatomy and physiology.

That's all for this week.


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