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Pork Commentary: Manitoba Swine Seminar

11 February 2014
Jim Long on ThePigSite

Jim Long is President &
CEO of Genesus Genetics.

CANADA - Last week, we attended the Manitoba Swine Seminar (Canada), writes Jim Long.

Manitoba has about 300,000 sows. The event was well attended with several hundred participants. Genesus was the sponsor of the main reception. Genesus has more customers than all other competitors in Manitoba.


Thomas Stein DVM, MS, PhD – Meta Farms Inc.

Stein had an excellent presentation on real time use of data by a world leader in data collection and understanding.

We are continued to be amazed by what hard data shows in production instead of the coffee shop data reports.

1.8 ADG. growth, 2.92 feed conversion, mortality 4.1 per cent. Coffee Shop Data 2lbs. plus, 2.5 feed conversion, 2 per cent mortality. Reality versus myth.

Meta Farms top 10 per cent in database. Finishing – A.D.G. 2.02, feed conversion 2.56, mortality 1.6 per cent.

Mark Greenwood, Ag Star Financial Services

Part of the Farm Credit System. Agstar has a managed portfolio of 1.5 billion USD. They have Client relationships with 60 per cent of the top 25 largest US Pork Companies.

Mark as usual was an excellent communicator. He pushed hard on producers need to limit risk. First you need to know the cost of production and what to expect for margin. He strongly recommends a futures program to manage risk on feed and hog prices. Canada producers have a third risk and that’s currency fluctuation which makes futures hedging more complicated.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED)

There was a panel of experts at the Seminar on PED. We were surprised that the Panel did not include anyone that actually had dealt with PED. Manitoba as of writing this commentary does not have PED. The take home message: “Try to keep PED out of your barn!” Makes sense to us.

Genesus current PED plan includes all of Canada-USA operations:

  • PED test sample all breeding stock orders before they are shipped.
  • Wash, dry, disinfect, vet inspect and PED swab as many trucks-trailers as possible.
  • Protocol on all people and vehicle movement.
  • We have 36 locations with breeding stock – it takes a big co-operative effort with all involved.

Breeding stock

Not sure what will happen going forward re: breeding stock Sales and PED. Will it be PRRS where de-pops are a must, or Circo-virus where it doesn’t stop breeding stock sales?

Currently the largest breeding stock company in the world with a three-letter acronym is selling PED-positive gilts actively, according to Mr Long. We expect (unless there is a customer backlash) for this to become the norm. In the meantime, we at Genesus are doing everything to stay PED-negative. Who needs three to four weeks of dead pigs if they can help it?


July through to December Lean Hog Futures set new contract highs last week. July is 23 higher than December or about $50 per head! Big difference July-Dec.USDA Cash Early Weans averaged $84.73 and Cash 40 lb. Feeder pigs $103.07. Both prices are in the stratosphere.Cash Lean Hogs need to get moving higher. A year ago 53-54 per cent hogs were 88.92¢/lb., this year 84¢. That’s over $10 per head less year over year. Last week DTN Agdata showed packer margins around $35 per head, versus about $20 a year ago. If correct, Packers have been making good money recently. We expect as market numbers decline; packers will work for less margin. (They will have to.)


Futures showing further strength, small pig prices are strong. PED hitting industry hard. We expect Summer Cash Lean Hogs to push past $1.10. 2014 – The Year of the Pig Farmer.

Author: Jim Long, President & CEO, Genesus Genetics

To find out more about Genesus Genetics,
please take the time to visit their website at

The opinions expressed in this commentary are entirely those of the author and can not taken to represent the views of, its owners or its management.

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