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Weekly Overview: Big Surprises in USDA's Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report

3 January 2017, at 12:00am

GLOBAL - The big news over the holiday came from the latest USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, which surprised many with its revised number of hogs that are expected to come to market between December and May.

The inventory of hogs over 180 pounds, which are hogs that should come to market by the third week of January, were 12.580 million head, 2.5 per cent higher than a year ago and in line with pre‐report estimates, according to the Steiner Consulting Group.

However, the inventory of hogs between 120‐179 pounds was adjusted to +4 per cent above year ago levels. These are hogs that should come to market between late January and late February.

Hogs in the 50‐119 category, basically late February and mid April timeframe, were also expected to be up 4.5 per cent from last year and feeder pigs under 50 pounds (late April through to May) were up 4.4 per cent.

The latest inventory numbers reflect a significant upward revision in the pig crop for the September ‐November time period and thus more hogs available for marketing this coming spring.

In the UK, a new ‘Targets Task Force’ has been put together by RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) to discuss how meaningful objectives to reduce, refine and replace antibiotic use in all UK livestock sectors can be identified.

The first meeting of the task force looked at the wide range of activities already underway and how each sector could play its part in reducing antibiotic use.

RUMA chair Gwyn Jones says a common, co-ordinated strategy was agreed at the meeting and that over the coming months, each sector will define objectives to lower disease burden, improve immunity and use products more effectively to minimise the development of antibiotic resistance.

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