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Newsletter 13th February 2006

Monday 13th February 2006
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in the US, where a recent study suggests swine industry workers have a good chance of catching swine influenza, but health officials said farmers aren't in any immediate danger and pork is safe to eat.
     A University of Iowa College of Public Health research project recently studied the spread of influenza between humans and hogs. With avian flu blamed for numerous deaths overseas, researchers thought it was time to study swine influenza more closely.

In a first step toward setting firm guidelines on the monitoring of emissions from large intensive farms, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached agreement with 20 farms to collect air samples.
     In return, noncompliant operations will pay EPA a one-time fine ranging from $200 to $100,000. Ultimately, 2,681 Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) - representing some 6,700 farms in 42 states - will sign similar deals.
     The deal aims to simplify testing and data collection and to promote goodwill so that compliance issues can be resolved, says Dave Ryan, EPA spokesman. The agency has until now been unable to effectively monitor and test AFOs because there was no widely accepted method for doing so.

This week, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that hog slaughter estimated at 2,008 thousand head was below a year earlier for the first time this year in a week not influenced by a holiday. The prior four weeks to this week, Federal Inspected slaughter was above 2 million head.
     This is the first time on record to have 5 weeks above 2 million head slaughtered under Federal Inspection in the first half of the year, they say. Hopefully, the decline in slaughter this week is the beginning of the usual seasonal decline in the number of hogs available for slaughter.

In Montana, work is set to begin next week on a plan to implement a state law requiring that meat sold in grocery stores and other shops be labeled to show country of origin. Fed up with attempts on the national level, supported by Montana's and South Dakota's Senate and House delegations to Washington D.C., to enact a country-of-origin meat labeling law, Montana is looking to lead the way, reports the Argus Leader

The NPPC commended the Bush administration for beginning bilateral free-trade negotiations with South Korea, the sixth largest export market for U.S. pork and pork products.
     While U.S. pork exports to South Korea have increased by 492% since implementation in 1995 of the WTO Uruguay Round trade agreement, there is much room for expansion in that market. Indeed, Chile, a major competitor to the U.S. pork industry, recently signed a free trade agreement with the Asian country, they report.

There have been increased concerns recently about reports of higher incidence of Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS), caused by a circovirus, in the US, with some of the cases reportedly resulting in significant death losses within certain production units, reports eFeedLink.
     The presence of the virus that causes PMWS is not uncommon in US swine herds, according to industry sources and animal health officials. University of Missouri Ag economist Glenn Grimes said two large swine producers located in North Carolina have had significant problems with the disease recently.
For more information on PMWS visit our Technical Zone

PMWS is also reported to be causing problems in Canada, where Quebec's pork producers are asking for help after the disease killed more than 200,000 pigs there last year. Pork farmer Lyse Grenier says PMWS started hitting Quebec farms a year ago. It is already affecting half of them.
     "The first day it's not too serious. But after a week, you begin to remove dead animals," Grenier says. "It gets pretty depressing." The syndrome is also hurting bottom lines.

Ingelvac PRRS KV - for the control of PRRS in breeding sows and gilts
Ingelvac PRRS KV - for the control of PRRS in breeding sows and gilts

Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food is blaming high hog slaughter numbers and low chicken prices in the US for a dramatic slide in live hog prices. Over the past two weeks live hogs prices have taken and unexpected slide. Yesterday Saskatchewan SPI index 100 hogs were ranging from 106 to 116 dollars per 100 kilograms.
     Provincial Livestock Economist Brad Marceniuk estimates, with the current low hog prices, producers are losing 10 to 20 dollars per market hog sold.

In the UK, disposing of fallen stock caused problems for many farmers last year, as some collectors employed by the National Fallen Stock Company failed to cope with demand over lambing. According to NFSCo chairman Michael Seals, those problems should be history as collectors have worked hard to avoid a repeat of the scenario of dead animals lying on farm for weeks.
     "We are fully aware of the problems faced in certain parts of the country last year, however, we believe a series of measures being implemented this year should help overcome these difficulties. "Most of the problems in north Wales last year were caused by logistics.

A simple system has allowed Driffield based JSR Farms to consistently make major financial savings and still grow high yielding crops. As Phillip Huxtable, director of the company explains, “savings are there for the taking, farmers really should not ignore the nutrient value of pig slurry.”
     A new ADAS run initiative, Environment Sensitive Farming, was launched this spring to get messages like this across. “For too long the spreading of slurries and manures has been seen as a waste disposal operation. In fact they are a useful resource,” suggests ADAS manure expert Dr Ken Smith.
     “With nitrogen fertilisers costing up to 160 pounds a tonne the targeted use of pig slurry in cereal crops can bring savings of up to 100 pounds/ha.”

A company set up at the behest of the Ulster Farmers' Union and its southern counterpart the Irish Farmers' Association is now exporting more than 1,000 sows a week to Germany. The North/South PigCompany was established to give producers a stronger voice in the supply chain and better returns from the marketplace.
     Managing director Paul Gilmore said: "The aim of our company, a farmer-owned co-operative, is to reward its producer shareholders with the kind of prices they deserve for their produce. Cull sow prices have risen dramatically on the island of Ireland as a direct result of our company identifying new markets for these pigs."

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

In Ireland, rural areas will be hard hit by the European Union nitrates directive, Independent MEP Marian Harkin has warned. “It is no exaggeration to say that pig and poultry farming will be shut down if the current maximum rates of fertiliser as proposed by Teagasc are implemented,” she said.
     Ms Harkin said rural areas benefited to the extent of &euro2.5 billion from the inputs and services purchased by farmers, and 75% of Irish grain was consumed by the pig and poultry sectors.

In The Netherlands, the food safety authority VWA said in a statement late Friday it had lifted the quarantine orders on a remaining 127 Dutch farms closed after dioxin was found in animal feed last month. VWA said latest test results did not shown any abnormally high levels of dioxin in pigs and there was therefore no need to continue the quarantine measures, which at one stage affected 275 farms.
     Earlier this week the VWA said it would kill and destroy about 3,500 pigs weighing more than 50 kg from the 10 farms where the highest contamination was found, according to Planet Ark.

China has joined Taiwan and South Korea in suspending pork imports from Belgium and the Netherlands as the two countries attempt to minimise the damage to their meat industries due to the presence of dioxin contaminated feed. China went a step further in banning imports from Germany, which has also been hit by the scare, though to a lesser extent than Belgium and the Netherlands.
     The discovery of the carcogenic contaminant in animal feed has led to the quarantine of about 650 farms in the three countries. While the trading suspension in the Asian countries means an opportunity for suppliers from other countries, it has put a black mark against Europe's efforts to ensure the safety of its meat and regain consumer confidence.

In this weeks China Piglet Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that China's piglet prices were unchanged in the week ending Feb 9. Snowy weather in the north had discouraged farmers from purchasing piglets and affected cross province deliveries. In the warmer southern regions, buying interest was also low after the week-long Spring Festival holiday.
     Markets were quiet during the Spring Festival holiday period. Very few piglets, including crossbreed piglets, were on sale while buyers were also mostly absent. Concerns that piglets may be prone to diseases in the prevailing cold weather conditions had led buyers to postpone their purchases until warmer weather condition. Buyers want to avoid having to deal with diseases and incurring costs on disease prevention.

SowComfort. Never before has standing been so easy!
SowComfort. Never before has standing been so easy! - from Big Dutchman

In South Korea, the government said on Friday that it will help local livestock producers compete with cheap imports by designating 80 beef and pork brands as premium quality. The move is an attempt to prepare the South Korean agricultural sector for increased competition that would arise from foreign imports if the World Trade Organisation were to approve its Doha round talks and the US free trade agreement were to go through.
     "Building up premium brands by improving consumer recognition can fuel demand and enable livestock growers to sell their animals at better prices," the Asia Pulse quotes Park Hae-sang, the deputy agriculture minister, as saying.

Vietnam plans to industrialise or at least semi-industrialise animal husbandry, including the slaughtering and food processing sectors, in 2006. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said it expected that the plan would effectively control animal epidemics.
     MARD said it is preparing a policy to subsidise large-scale pig farms which raise high-yield species and opt for industrial farming in order to reduce production costs and improve products' quality. The country expects to increase its pig stock to 29.5 million heads, against this year's 27.4 million.

In Jayapura, Papua, pig farmers say a viral disease afflicting their livestock has led to the deaths of dozens of swine over the last three weeks. Kelly Deda, a resident in the Sentani Timur district, Jayapura, said Thursday the virus had been evident in pigs in the area since October, but only recently had pigs begun dying almost daily.
     Kelly said four of his six pigs had died, and that many of his neighbors were dealing with the same problem. "We're confused because every day there is a dead pig," he said.

Company news

Well-known industry figure, Reg Joseph, has been appointed consultant to East Yorkshire-based international pig breeding company, ACMC Ltd. Working within both the UK and overseas, he will help develop new markets for the company, which has become renowned for the prolificacy of its breeding stock.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI) announced this week the promotion of Sara Balvanz to sales representative and the addition of Abby Lauenroth as corporate account trainer for the company’s swine division.

PIC Sire Lines - Get more value out of the Pork Value Chain

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 3 new features this week:

A Guide To The Food Hygiene & Other Regulations For The Meat Industry
By The Meat Hygiene Services and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland - This Guide is relevant to those UK food businesses that slaughter animals for human consumption or cut or process meat, particularly those establishments that are subject to approval and, in the case of slaughterhouses, cutting plants, game handling establishments and co-located premises, veterinary control.

Pork Central Hog Market Thoughts for February 1st 2006
By Al Prosch, Nebraska University Pork Central Coordinator - In the middle of January (January 15th Market Thoughts), lean hog futures contracts through February of 2007 offered a producer with a $40.00 breakeven and an average basis of -$2.00. That’s an average profit for the marketing year of $11.47 per market hog at 270# live weight.

USDA Livestock and Products Semi-Annual Reports 2006 link
By USDA, FAS - This article provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2005 reports. We start this week with the following countries; Canada, China and the EU-25. Within each article is a link to the full report which includes all the tabular data which we have omitted from these articles.

M+Rhusigen - First in Erysipelas
M+Rhusigen - First in Erysipelas

That's all for this week!

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