Pork Commentary: Iowa Pork Congress Report

CANADA - This week's North American Pork Commentary from Jim Long.
calendar icon 2 February 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Last week we attended the Iowa Pork Congress. Iowa is the home of about 25 per cent of the United States hog production.

  • The Iowa Pork Congress did not seem to have the attendance of prior years. Bad weather north of Des Moines and the economic travails our industry has faced were two factors that in our opinion cut back attendance. As usual, Doug Fricke and other Iowa Pork Congress organizers did a good job organizing a first class trade show in an excellent venue.

  • Like Banff seminars the week before, we would characterize the attendees we talked to as cautiously optimistic. One caviat to this observation is that in all likelihood only the positives are attending hog shows. The negative stay home. We heard of pork powerhouses restricting travel to the Iowa Pork Congress and other industry functions due to budget (cash) restraints.

  • Several people were quite conscious of the dropping lean hog price and pork cut – outs last week. This makes everyone nervous. The plus side for many is the large decrease of 60 – 70 cents a bushel we have seen in corn the last two weeks is lowering breakevens.

  • It was interesting that several people came up to us and thanked us for finding optimistic items that gave them hope for themselves and our industry. On the flip side, most of the same people were complimentary of our holding the non-skin in the game economists feet to the fire for their mocking insensitivity to the plight of producers.

  • Pig supply is dropping. There is lots of searching for large numbers of early weans and feeder pigs. Finishing barns are available, but even with tight credit demand for small pigs is still strong.

  • In the Swine Genetic business last week the big story was the complete takeover of Newsham Choice Genetics by the French company Groupe Grimoud. Gone as shareholders are Bucolia of the Netherlands, the Mitchell family and some of Newsham’s employees. This will be the French companies Groupe Grimoud first complete foray in swine genetics. They have a lot of experience in ducks, poultry, and rabbits. The acquisition by Newsham of Monsanto Choice Genetics in the fall of 2007 just before the market collapse was not the best timing. Maybe it’s called biting off more than you can chew. There has been many casualties in our industry over the last two years. Now with PIC, Newsham, Danbred, Hermitage,Hypor, Topigs, Norsvin, all European based and owned companies there are few America’s situated and owned swine genetic companies left. In the end the range war in genetics will not be decided by ownership origin but who delivers the best product to the customers. Game on!

Pork demand gets major boost

Please click here to read the extraordinary technical and marketing breakthrough that President Cristina Fernandez deKirchner of Argentina attributes to pork.

One Million Gilt Celebration

Genesus wants to thank the scores of customers, producers, equipment, and feed people, packers, and even our genetic competitors who joined Genesus last Wednesday night in our celebration of reaching the magical milestone of Genesus placing our one millionth gilt globally. It’s greatly appreciated that so many people took the time, and made the effort to help us celebrate. Most importantly we must acknowledge our customers. They are the backbone of Genesus’ accomplishment of reaching one million gilts. We have always believed if we look after our customers by giving them value the rest will follow. We give one million thank yous to our customers.

Genesus team at One Million Gilt Celebration with winners of Iowa State and University of Iowa raffle jackets

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