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ThePigSite Newsletter - 11th February 2008
Monday 11th February 2008
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Ins and Outs of Good Biosecurity
By Caroline Blaken, PIC UK. Biosecurity can be split into two main areas – external and internal. However, designing a practical routine or farm set-up that can optimise security and minimise potential risks is not often as simple as it sounds.
Catheter Considerations
By Jane Jordan, Editor, ThePigSite. Artificial insemination (AI) has become common place on most pig production unit. Its use has increased substantially during the past 20 years and demand for new AI technology can be attributed to its considerable development at commercial level. US researchers have evaluated the effects of intrauterine and cervical artificial-insemination catheters on farrowing rates.
Tips for Housing Gestating Sows in Group Pens
By Kathy Zurbrigg BSc. MSc. OMAFRA and Frank Kains, Waterloo, Ontario presented at the Shakespear Swine Conference in Ontario, Canada. In January 2007, Maple Leaf Foods made the decision to stop purchasing pigs in the future from farms using gestation crates.
Acreage Retirement May Induce Enduring Land-Use Changes
By Ruben N. Lubowski and Michael J. Roberts. A Report in Amber Waves, a publication produced five times a year by the US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, discusses the implications of land use changes and the options now being presented to US farmers to take land out of production and into conservation.
* Global Pig Industry News (link to all this weeks news)


Anxious Producers Promised Response
MANITOBA - Pig producers have been promised a government response the recent Clean Environment Commission report on the sustainability of the industry by the end of February.

Hytek Kicks off Modernization of Springhill Farms Hog Slaughtering Plant
CANADA - Hytek Limited has kicked off a two year project to upgrade and modernize its Springhill Farms hog slaughtering plant at Neepawa, Manitoba to accommodate expanded value-added processing, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Pork Commentary: Liquidation All Over
CANADA - This week, Jim Long's North American Pork Commentary highlights a strengthening market in some states, but reduction in slaughter weights - which has been expected. The global picture is changing too as market forces begin to bite and grain prices escalate.

CEC Report Released by End of Month
CANADA - Manitoba Conservation plans to make public the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission final report on the environmental sustainability of the hog industry by the end of the month, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Axed Plant Could Have Turned Profit This Summer
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - Investment in niche market omega-3 and organic hog products could have saved the beleaguered Charlottetown pork plant. Reports suggest that a $9 million cash-injection could have saved the business. .

Off to a Flying Start in China
SASKATOON - Sakachewan-based swine genetics company, Fast Genetics, has completed its largest live pig export to China.

Producers Encouraged to Base Sow Housing on Individual Priorities
CANADA - A researcher with the Prairie Swine Centre is encouraging hog producers to consider their own priorities when choosing a housing system for gestating sows, Bruce Cochrane.
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  United States

Weekly Roberts Report: Speculation Urged When Grain Buying
US - Agricultural US Commodity Market Report by Mike Roberts, Commodity Marketing Agent, Virginia Tech.

Market Preview: New Highs for Corn, Soybeans?
US - Weekly US Market Preview provided by Steve R. Meyer, Ph.D., Paragon Economics, Inc.

Weekly Review: Hog Operations Continue To Decline
US - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.

Serious Questions for Butte Pork Plant
MONTANA - Given the dismal national record of pig processing plants, the Ranchland Packing Company’s proposed pig plant is potentially very problematic for Butte, says John Ray in the Montana Standard.

A Glance at the Proposed US Ag Budget
WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer has released details of President Bush's FY 2009 U.S. Department of Agriculture budget.

Meat tax will protect the environment says pressure group
US - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) targeted most of the presidential candidates' major events last month. It's message was "Stop Global Warming: Tax Meat."

Eat Cake and Cut Costs, says Nutritionist
ILLINOIS - If soybean and corn-based feeds get too expensive, livestock producers can always turn to leftovers, says Hans Stein, a University of Illinois Extension swine nutritionist.

Corn Prices Make Pig Farming Ugly
US - Minnesota pig producer John Vaubel says he losing at least US$35 a pig. He blames the massive escalation of corn prices for the 'ugly economics'.
Alphamune G - Shielding, Earning
Minnesota Names Pork Ambassadors
US - Le Sueur County Pork Ambassador Kate Richter will serve as the 2008 Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador, says the State's Morris Sun Tribune. A three-judge panel selected Richter during competition held in conjunction with Minnesota Pork Congress, held in Minneapolis in January.

Premium Product Development Will Aid Ontario Industry
US - Last year was possibly the worst for Ontario's pig industry. Commentators say it was very inauspicious - many dubbing it the consequence of a 'perfect storm'.

New Act Needed to Act Against Vet Shortage
ILLINOIS, US - The president of the nation's largest veterinary association appeared before a Congressional subcommittee and urged the United States Department of Agriculture to implement a long-standing, but dormant, program that would help address a critical shortage in the number of veterinarians who protect the country's food supply.


Import Alert on Chinese Products
KUALA LUMPUR - Imports of pork dumplings from China are under scrutiny in Malaysia. The Health Ministry issued a warning at the end of last week after media reports said that 175 Japanese people fell ill after eating Chinese-made dumplings.


Efficiency and Export Focus for Federation Convention
PHILIPPINES - 'Enhancing Pork Production for the Export Market' is the theme of the Philippines National Federation of Hog Farmers (NFHFI) 17th Annual Hog Convention and Trade Exhibition.

  European Union

EU Pig Prices: Markets Plateau
EU - No surprises are in store for the European pig market this week. Prices remain unchanged and only the Spanish trade hold out some optimism.
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  United Kingdom

Biosecurity Bonus from EA
UK - The Environment Agency has commited its people to complying with resonable biosecurity measures on IPPC units — including showering in.

11 Announced on the New Board of QMS
SCOTLAND - Richard Lochhead, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, has announced the appointment of eleven members for the new Board of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

DVD Tells the Truth About Sausages
UK - Research shows children do not have a very good understanding of where food comes from and, in particular, no idea that sausages, which can form part of a healthy, balanced diet, came from pigs.

Pork Firm Protests
NOTTINGHAM - Pork Pie production at a Nottingham food manufacturer almost came to a standstill yesterday due to a 24-hour strike by workers.

Labels Battle Half Won
UK - EU proposals on food labelling are a mixed bag for British farmers and growers, says the NFU.

Scottish Union to Revive Stagnant GM Approvals
SCOTLAND - The European Union’s process for authorising the use of new GM varieties is paralysed and livestock farmers and consumers are set to suffer the consequences, according to National Farmers' Union Scotland(NFUS).

Herd Contraction Continues
UK - Meat and Livestock Commission analysts report further contraction in the UK pig breeding herd. Estimates now suggest a total of 400,000 head forecast this year, although they say the decline could be greater if there is no real improvement in producer prices.

NADIS Veterinary Report and Forecast – January 2008
UK - The monthly report from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS), looks at the data collected from their UK farm inspections. This month, uneven littersize continues to hamper herds switching to batch production, although Parvovirus and Leptospirosis feature. And finishing pigs see a rise in enteric problems.

Disappearing Act Proves Desperate Point, says BPEX
UK - The British Pig Executive says that pig farming is disappearing before our eyes - and its new advertising campaign is proving just that.

Volatile Options and RM Fixing Could Help Producers Reduce Feed Costs
UK - Pig producers could use volatility in the grain market to their advantage. Also being more aggressive when buying stocks could improve the prices they pay for cereals and feed and help them to reduce costs and improve stability, writes Jane Jordan, ThePigSite Editor.

Pork Hits the Heights
UK - British consumers would be happy to pay a little more to help British pig producers according to a survey by the British Pig Executive (BPEX).

New Report Says Ethanol is Not the Solution
AUSTRALIA - A new Parliament of Australia report has confirmed concerns that ethanol has debatable fuel security, trade, environmental and regional development benefits.


Team Changes to Speed Development
WORLDWIDE - Natural feed additive specialist Kiotechagil has created two new positions that will boost product development, speed up delivery to industry and improv the company's processes and customer servicing.


ASF Surveillance Rolled Out as Restriction Lifted
AZERBAIJAN - Quarantine restrictions placed on a village in Azerbaijan affected by African Swine Fever could be lifted by the end of the month as long as there are no further outbreaks, says State veterinary officials.


GM Opposition Adding to Pig Market Crisis
GERMANY - The current difficulties in the German pig sector are attributed to government opposition to genetically modified (GM) feedstuffs, according to a representative of German opposition party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP).


Pigging Good Investment
CHINA - It pays to raise pigs in China, says capital and investment research organisation Beacon Equity Research. Pork is by far the most popular animal protein in the heavily carnivorous nation, accounting for around 65 per cent of total meat consumption. And that level is expected to continue to rise.

Livestock Warning in Snow Hit Regions
CHINA - The Chinese government has warned local authorities to be on the alert for possible animal epidemics in the wake of the heavy snow fall across the country.

Company news

DuPont DuPont Pledges $1 Million to World Food Prize
US - DuPont has made a $1 million contingent donation to fund the establishment of a permanent home for the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. The donation will support the transformation of the former Des Moines Public Library into the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates and will be administered through DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred.

That's all for this week!


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