Corn export shipments were 15 million bushels for the past week and new sales were only six million bushels. Total shipments of 83 million bushels for the marketing year are 37% behind last year and sales are down nearly 50%. What is wrong with U.S. corn? Strong dollar? High cost? Aflatoxin? Is feed wheat more abundant and lower priced? Competition from typical or atypical sources?...More
The Canadian pork industry is making news a lot lately—and the news is not necessarily good. Reports last week following a Canadian Pork Council meeting talked about potential threats to the entire Canadian pork supply chain if too many producers were to exit the industry. I always want to know the “rest of the story,” beyond what the news releases are telling me. Today I sought some perspective from Karl Kynoch, Baldur, Manitoba, chairman of the Manitoba Pork Council. Now Karl is a pretty upbeat sort of fellow, but the grim reality still came through in our conversation....More
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Vice President Geoff Cooper said recently that if a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is granted, as requested by some governors and a number of agricultural organizations, and it did reduce the amount of corn used for ethanol and biodiesel production, there would be consequences. Cooper says it would mean the price of distiller’s grain and soybean meal would increase and net feed costs might actually increase for some livestock and poultry feeders....More
The price of corn, like the price of other commodities, is influenced by a wide array of factors that reflect a combination of current and expected supply and consumption, says a University of Illinois Extension agricultural economist....More
The hog industry always faces challenges. However, this year the industry has new opportunities to exercise preemptive control over many of the issues confronting producers. The University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture (CA) Program’s 2012 Swine Institute, Nov. 7, will address many of the controls the industry can execute....More
Two major Canadian pork processors are among those expressing interest in Canada's second-biggest hog producer, Big Sky Farms, which is looking for new ownership after soaring feed costs left it unable to pay its bills, according to a recent report filed by Reuters.
Big Sky, which produces about a million pigs per year and is based near Humboldt, Saskatchewan, entered receivership in early September. Manitoba-based hog producer Puratone Corp. is also up for sale, after entering court protection from creditors last month....More
Often, producers and nutritionists are left with requirements to make the feeding program fit the constraints in the existing system, whether they are space shortages, small feed bins, small feed lines, old feeders that are difficult to adjust or other variables.
This article will discuss facility design considerations that will minimize the constraints on the feeding program and maximize flexibility for management and diet formulation....More
As pork producers keep a closer eye on feed costs, sow body condition will be scrutinized more closely. In doing so, the feed drops (box or cylinder) used to feed gestating and lactating sows are good candidates for a closer look....More
The hot, dry weather experienced this past summer has resulted in higher levels of mycotoxins in corn grain being harvested this fall. In order to minimize the potential negative impacts that can occur when feeding grain contaminated with mycotoxins to swine, pork producers should be especially cautious and evaluate grain for mycotoxins prior to using as feed, says Mark Whitney, swine educator with the University of Minnesota Extension....More
Change is the one constant in the pork industry, although production facilities represent a fixed investment that is difficult to change. This conundrum sets up a conflict between the changing needs of the pigs and the facilities we have available to house them....More
In comments submitted today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Pork Producers Council said EPA should grant a waiver of the federal requirement for the production of corn ethanol because the mandate, coupled with a summer drought that has reduced yields and pushed up prices of feedgrains, is causing severe economic harm to pork producers....More
As the swine industry struggles with increasing feed costs and declining market prices, producers basically have two options – reduce the cost to raise a pig or raise more pigs per sow to spread costs out....More
Feed typically makes up about 70% of production costs, but it could be 75% or more with the drought. Managing swine diet costs will be critical, says Chris Hostetler, animal science director for the Pork Checkoff, who offers the following tips:...More
A new study from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) suggests that a full waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) might reduce corn prices by just 0.5% ($0.04 per bushel) in 2012-2013.
The study found that corn ethanol production might slip by just 1.3% with a waiver in 2012-2013, while corn available for livestock feed might increase just 0.6%....More
Pork producers are expected to continue to suffer very large losses in the next six months after already operating in the red for the last six, according to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt. These large losses have been brought on by the extreme feed prices due to the drought....More
Considered a promising substitute for fish meal in weaned pig diets because of its protein content, lower cost, and lack of anti-nutritional factors, fermented soybean meal (FSBM), may have an additional advantage. Researchers at the University of Illinois recently found that pigs digest the phosphorous in FSBM better than the phosphorus in conventional soybean meal.
“Most of the P in soybean meal is bound to phytate, so it's not available to pigs,” explains animal sciences professor Hans Stein....More
In response to numerous news stories raising concerns that recent events will lead to a global shortage of bacon, Smithfield Foods, Inc. has issued the following statement:
“Contrary to recent media reports, there is no bacon shortage, at least not at Smithfield Foods, Inc. Thanks to our company farms and national network of family farm partnerships, we are happy and proud to continue delivering high-quality, flavorful bacon and bacon products to our retail and foodservice customers....More
Hog producer Prestage Farms, Inc. and two other livestock companies in North Carolina have signed deals to import 750,000 metric tons (826,733.48 tons) of corn from Brazil in the wake of sky-high U.S. prices, Senior Vice President John Prestage told Reuters.
The imports, made through agribusiness companies such as Bunge Ltd. and Archer Daniels Midland Co., are the largest on record and come after the worst drought in half a century rallied grain prices to all-time peaks this summer.
In the face of a small corn crop and high prices, there has been a great deal of debate about a partial temporary waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) mandate for ethanol in 2013. An analysis of the likely impacts of such a waiver can be found here, according to a report posted by Darrel Good and Scott Irwin, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois....More
Per capita consumption of pork worldwide peaked in 2010 at 33.48 lb. per person, according to a Daily Livestock Report issued today by Steve Meyer and Len Steiner. It fell to 32.8 lb. in 2011 and is projected by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to dip to 32.94 lb. per person this year....More
November 2012 soybean futures reached a high of $17.89 on Sept. 4, but have declined sharply since then. The USDA's September 12 Crop Production report containing a smaller yield and production forecast provided some brief support, but that contract has traded under $16 and is currently about $1.90 below the high. Basis levels have also weakened over the past three weeks. The average cash bid in central Illinois, for example, was $0.03 over November futures on Sept. 4 and $0.13 under on Sept....More
The harvest is coming along fast in the upper Midwest with corn and soybean yields all across the boards. In southern Minnesota where I live, farmers are pleasantly surprised with near normal yields....More
The latest government crop yield predictions may give grain farmers cause for optimism as the harvest season reaches its crescendo in Iowa, corn and soybean experts at Iowa State University (ISU) say this week. ...More
The question remains: Where are these hogs coming from? Last week’s FI slaughter run of 2.428 million head was the third highest EVER. It ranks behind only the weeks of December 22, 2007 (2.477 million head) and January 12, 2008 (2.435 million head) – the two largest weeks during a surge of slaughter driven by the thousands of pigs that otherwise would have died if not for the introduction in 2007 of effective circorvirus vaccines....More