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Newsletter - 13th March 2006
Monday 13th March 2006
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 3 new features this week:

Variation in Feed Quality: What To Do When It Declines
By Ruurd T. Zijlstra, Augustine Owusu-Asiedu, Emma J. Clowes, and John F. Patience and published by the Prairie Swine Center - Feed ingredients, such as barley and wheat, vary substantially in quality. If the variation in ingredient quality is ignored, the quality of finished feed may vary, resulting in changed feed intake and/or reduced growth performance.
Development of the U.S. and EU Organic Agricultural Sectors
By Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA - Organic markets in the European Union member states and the U.S. are nearly the same size in terms of retail sales. At the same time, their farm sectors differ significantly, with the EU-15 member states having more organic farmland and more organic operations than the U.S.
USDA Livestock and Products Semi-Annual Reports: Japan
By USDA, FAS - This article provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2006 reports. This week we have a report for the following country; Japan.
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*Global Pig Industry News (link to all this weeks news)

We start this week in the US where the Chicago Tribune reports that 14 Missouri counties have said they want no more operations with thousands of hogs, and at least nine more counties are exploring similar bans.
     This grass-roots resistance in a major agricultural state marks a significant development in the often furious rural fight known as "hog wars" and is forcing agribusiness interests to change tactics in pursuit of sites that would make hogs, cattle and chickens by far the biggest populations in rural Missouri counties.

Members of the Swine Identification Implementation Task Force and pork industry representatives provided an update on the Swine ID Plan to pork producers last week at the National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City, Mo.
     Using the current ID system as a base and the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), guidelines, the industry is working to implement national swine-specific standards for ID.

A five-year study to find more environmentally friendly ways to treat hog waste in the nation's second-largest swine producing state turned up several options but none that farmers appear ready to pay for, reports the Sun Times.
     The report recommends five alternatives that would reduce ammonia and pathogen emissions in North Carolina, but they could cost up to five times as much as the lagoon and spray-field method. One technology would deal with liquid waste while the other four center on disposing of solid waste.

Maybe Iowa's hogs and cattle don't stink as much as people think, reports the Des Moines Register. A group of scientists - armed with odor detection equipment - finished a three-year study with this finding: Odors related to livestock operations topped the odor benchmark in just 7% of the 1,708 measurements from 2002 through 2005.
     Just one reading hit a level that would prompt regulators to consider setting the state's first odor limits for livestock operations, said Sean Fitzsimmons of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' air-quality staff.
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In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that Sow slaughter continues to run below a year earlier. Through the week ending February 18 sow slaughter was 3.3% below a year earlier after adjusting for the size of the sow herd.
     Gilt slaughter for December was 2.3% below the five-year average. They believe that the sow herd has grown some since December 1 but at a slow rate considering the profitability of the last two years.

USDA price data shows fewer hogs sold through the spot market during January 2006 than during previous years, although the prices of more than half the hogs in the United States are still determined by the spot market.
     "If the rate of decline in the percentage of negotiated or spot market hogs returns to the pre-2004/'05 rate, it will increase the urgency for the industry to find another form of price discovery for most of the contracts," says Glenn Grimes.

In Canada, several national agriculture groups are calling on the federal Trade minister to step up negotiations with some of the country's traditional trading partners in an effort to stay competitive with the US.
     Nine organizations, including the Canadian Wheat Board and the CPC, sent David Emerson a letter earlier this week asking him to speed up bilateral talks with several countries the groups consider a priority.
     "We really feel it's important and critical that Canada keep up with the Americans because we're competitive in so many areas, including wheat, oilseeds and pork," said CWB's chief trade representative.
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Livestock producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are urging federal agriculture minister Chuck Strahl to change provisions of the Grains and Oilseeds Payment Program (GOPP) that they believe penalize diversified farming operations.
     The C$755 million Grains and Oilseeds Payment Program is designed to assist grain, oilseed and special crops producers caught in the crossfire of international subsidy battles by providing payments based on average net sales of eligible grains.
      The program was announced by the former Liberal government just prior to the federal election and the new Conservative government is now fast tracking payments.

The hottest topics in pork production will be discussed at the upcoming Focus on the Future Conference to be held in Saskatoon, March 27 & 28. The annual conference attracts pork producers and their suppliers from across western Canada seeking practical solutions to production challenges.

Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food predicts a combination of factors is likely to result in continued volatility and price fluctuations but live hog prices are expected to show some strengthening as we move toward spring.
     Livestock Economist Brad Marceniuk observes, while live hog prices have continued to fluctuate, they have improved since the beginning of February when higher US slaughter numbers and higher volumes of chicken and pork in cold storage pushed prices down.
     The key factors that will continue to influence where hog prices go this spring are US hog slaughter numbers, the demand for pork, US meat in cold storage and the Canadian dollar, he said.

Danish pig producers looking to start afresh in Britain will find a warm welcome here - but they will not necessarily be escaping the influence of Denmark’s chronic loss-making pig prices, reports the NPA. Denmark is still selling pigmeat at prices that mean losses for their own producers and which destabilise the European market, they say.
     It was clear at the recent Danish show Agromek, and from reports by British land agents Savills, that there is a spate of producers looking to move to Britain. Worried by four years of unsustainable production in Denmark, and weary of constant hostility from Danish politicians and consumers, they are looking to Britain rather than the eastern bloc countries.
In the Netherlands, Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman announced measures to control pigs from Western Germany where outbreaks of swine fever have occurred at several sites.
     Dutch health services are to check all pigs arriving from the affected region and will carry out tests at places in The Netherlands where pigs at risk had been handled during the last six weeks. The measures were intended to prevent the spread of swine fever to The Netherlands, the minister's office said.
     The presence of swine fever, which is contagious but does not affect other species of animal nor people, was confirmed last Monday at three breeding sites in North Rhine Westfalia.

In Bulgaria, veterinary health authorities have reported a second outbreak of swine fever in the south-eastern town of Elhovo and slaughtered some 56 pigs to prevent the spread of the disease.

In mid-February, Japan opened its market to Polish pork. It is estimated that in 2006, exports of Polish pork to Japan could reach 50,000 MT, reports the USDA's FAS. Poland has already been exporting pork to South Korea. The country is also looking for opportunities to ship pork to China but so far without success, they report. Russia’s ban in mid-November 2005, of imports of Polish meat and plant products is driving local producers to aggressively seek out new market opportunities.

In this weeks China Hog Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that live hog prices in China continued to move lower during the week ending Mar 6. Prices of native mixed-breed hogs in some major pig producing provinces fell below the level of RMB3.00/kg.
     Despite lower costs of replenishing piglets, hog raising still yielded meager profits. Hog to feed ratio in most areas was 5.5 or lower, making rearing conditions more difficult.

With pig-borne disease and bird flu occurring one after another, China's disease control network is facing new challenges after the SARS outbreak reports The People's Daily. "China's disease pattern is undergoing fast changes with the frequent emergence of new infectious diseases transmitted from animals to the humans, which pose big challenges to the country's disease prevention and control work," the Chinese Minister of Public Health said.
     In June 2005, swine streptococosis occurred in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, infecting more than 200 people and killing 38 others.
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In the Philippines, the national hog convention and trade exhibits slated for next month have already attracted around two thousand registrants nationwide, organizers said.
     Albert Lim, National Federation of Hog Farmer Inc. president, said they expect around three thousand exhibitors and thousands of spectator to packing the Limketkai atrium where the three-day trade exhibit will be held.

In New Zealand, the Pork Industry Board will meet with Canterbury pig farmers this week, to discuss how they can protect themselves against an outbreak of pig wasting disease. Canterbury had previously been free of the killer disease, Post-Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome or PMWS, but it has now affected a cluster of farms south of Christchurch.
     Board chairman Chris Trengrove says tomorrow's meeting will discuss measures which can be offered to farmers to help them cope with the problem, including prevention, identification and treatment. He says farmers need to take note of the information that is available to safeguard their business.
See Also: PMWS Believed Killing Piglets in New Zealand: Professor

*Company News

Rapidly-growing international pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd, based in the UK, have relaunched their website:
     The site, designed to be user friendly, has sections on all aspects of the company's business including products and services, breeding programme, genetics, health, production systems, AI and its special PigCom Windows-compatible computerised recording and management system.

Research studies involving the transmission and monitoring of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) are the areas of concentration for the 2006 Advancement in PRRS Research Awards sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI) says the company.
     This is the fourth consecutive year BIVI has provided $75,000 in research grants to independent swine researchers and practitioners to investigate new ways to diagnose, control and eradicate this costly swine disease.

That's all for this week!


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