The third week in September represents National Farm Safety & Health Week. This comes as fall harvest begins, and serves as a reminder to practice farm safety throughout the year, according to Nathan Winter, crops educator with the University of Minnesota Extension....More
Canada's second-biggest hog producer, Big Sky Farms, has entered receivership as the North American hog industry struggles under the bruising costs of animal feed, according to a report by Reuters.
Big Sky Farms, based in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, produces roughly one million pigs annually and accounts for 40% of Saskatchewan's total hog production.
Under receivership, an outside party controls a company until it can restructure its debt or be sold, says Neil Ketilson, general manager of Sask Pork, an industry group run by hog farmers....More
Kansas State University (KSU) offers two different tools that can help pork producers determine optimal market weights for their hogs – factoring in current high feed costs, according to Mike Tokach, KSU Extension swine specialist.
The first tool is a KSU market weight predictor and the second tool calculates feed efficiency and marginal costs at heavy weights. Both can be found by going to the KSU Web site, www.ksuswine.org and clicking on Marketing Tools....More
The age of the average American farmer has risen to 57 years old. Moreover, the percentage of farmers over 75 increased by 30%, while the percentage of farmers under 25 dropped by 20%. Vast quantities of young people simply are not entering farming these days, and that’s a problem many communities have an interest in solving, according to a report from A. Bryan Endres and Rachel Armstrong, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois...More
A tsunami of red ink is about to wash across the pork industry, which is facing losses unseen even in the fall of 1998 when hog prices at times approached zero value.
Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt says the stressors include: more hogs than expected, rapid sow liquidation now under way and record feed prices. Losses in the final quarter of this year could be $60 per head, exceeding the previous record quarterly losses of $45 per head in the fall of 1998....More
After my effort last week to put fall supplies in what I still believe is a correct and lower context, federally-inspected (FI) slaughter exploded to 2.265 million head, 4.6% higher than the week before and nearly 7% larger than last year. The June Hogs and Pigs report indicated nothing like this in terms of market hog supplies. What’s more, the report had been very accurate (running only 0.8% below the June inventory numbers) from July 1 through August 8....More
The economics of the swine industry right now are like a bad dream. You want it to wake up and not believe it is reality. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Feed prices have sky rocketed and hog prices have plummeted. In looking at current economics, the average producer is losing close to $10-$15 a head today. The issue could actually get even worse if pig prices stay steady....More
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) argues against animal-rights groups that would deny due process to livestock and poultry farmers who want to have input into national fire standards that would affect their operations....More
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is concerned about the impact that mandates and new taxes contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would have on America’s farm and ranch families. The organization is asking members of the House of Representatives to vote for H.R. 6079, also known as the Repeal of Obamacare Act....More
The recent vote by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to amend its standards for animal housing facilities would require fire sprinkling systems in newly constructed and some existing facilities.
The NFPA’s uniform codes and standards are widely utilized by state and local governments to set building and fire codes, and by insurance companies as minimum standards to maintain coverage and by international organizations.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is requesting that Canada suspend its hog subsidy programs before entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks.
NPPC pointed out if similar programs existed in the United States, production would more than double in 10 years and critically impact the Canadian hog market....More
The spring rally in the hog market has been very strong the past five years, from the last week of March through the third week of May, becoming the strongest seasonal rally of the year, according to Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension agricultural economist. This year’s counter-seasonal price movement has caused the anticipated spring rally to fizzle....More
U.S. pork exports rose 8% the first quarter of 2012 by volume (657,864 tons) and were 20% higher in value at $1.66 billion than last year’s record pace, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
However, March pork export volume of 218,869 tons was 8% lower than a year ago, but 6% higher than February 2012. Export value at $570.5 million was 3% higher than last year and up 8% from the previous month....More
Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, will present a seminar today, Wed., Jan. 25, at the Iowa Pork Congress entitled, "Riding the Roller Coaster: Economic Outlook." The seminar will take place from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in Hy-Vee Hall, Lower Level, Rooms 5 and 6. ...More
The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) are jointly sponsoring three risk management sessions this December on volatile agricultural markets, high input costs and high capital costs facing farm operations...More
For all of you feeling particularly giddy after last week’s markets, allow me to mention one thing to keep you grounded: H1N1. I mention it because there have been several outbreaks in the Southeast recently. And, it serves as an example of what can go wrong just when things are looking jolly good....More
Two risk management workshops are scheduled for parts of Iowa this month. The USDA Risk Management Agency, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa Pork Producers Association are sponsoring these interactive swine editions of Margin Maker...More
Risk management, it seems, has always been viewed favorably by pork producers. Problem is, it’s rarely practiced to any great degree.
A key reason, of course, is that hogs have generally been profitable – especially for those whose cost of production is better than average....More