Alumbaugh: Greenhouse gas sensationalism

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A recent article in the Des Moines Register reported that “greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have nearly doubled during the past half century and could increase another 30 percent by 2050 without additional efforts to reduce them.” The information was from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. The FAO said emissions from crop and livestock production grew from 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2001 to over 5.3 billion metric tons in 2011, an increase of 13 percent. In the next-to-last sentence of the article, readers will find that in 2011, nearly half (45 percent) of... View Blog Post »

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Two new newsletter features add insight and interest

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We’re excited to introduce two new features to our daily PorkNetwork newsletter. Look for the “Quotable Quotes” box, which will feature thought-provoking comments from people we’ve talked to during our travels and from articles featured on the PorkNetwork website. The Quotable Quotes page in the magazine is well-read and we know how much you like to see photos of industry people and read their comments. It helps bring home the fact that we are blessed to have so many competent, intelligent and dedicated individuals working to improve the pork industry. We also have added a new feature that will highlight the... View Blog Post »

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Penning Pigs: Chinese feed production trials and challenges

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Consolidation and integration are bywords of Chinese agriculture, as more small farms and small feedmills are replaced by larger operations. For example, there are about 11,000 feed mills in China now, but it is estimated that 800 to 1,000 feed companies are disappearing every year, as large feed mills expand to meet the needs of bigger farms. According to Alltech North China General Manager, Gordon Gao, China urgently needs to increase production efficiency, maintain profitability and focus on food safety. He spoke at the Alltech 20-Year Summit held in Beijing last month and focused on the dairy industry. “Chinese dairy farmers... View Blog Post »

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Penning Pigs: China’s ability to adapt quickly

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Chinese companies have the capability to quickly adopt technologies and learn from other markets. In 2013, China contributed 30 percent (80 million tons) of the total 267 million tons of global swine feed produced. However, this has raised concerns for U.S. producers. Vitamins, minerals and animal proteins are imported to the United States from China and there has been a significant increase in these products during the last five years. There are presently three strains of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) in the United States and it is believed that all three originated in China. Dr. Butch Baker spoke at the... View Blog Post »

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Penning Pigs: China – King of pork

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The last twenty years have been a time of consolidation and transition from backyard farming to large, modern integrated farms. Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech vice-president, believes the next two decades will focus on how companies can increase their production efficiency in a sustainable way and maintain their profitability. They will need to make these changes as they improve environmental practices and rebuild trust with ever-conscious consumers. “Chinese agriculture of 20 years ago would almost be unrecognizable compared to today’s modern industry,” says Lyons. “The pace of change in this critical sector has been extremely rapid over these two decades.” China is set... View Blog Post »

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Penning Pigs: China Summit showcases danger/opportunity

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The last twenty years have brought unprecedented developments to Chinese agriculture, but they have also brought challenges that have shaken the food chain and led to diminished consumer confidence. Companies that dared to dream while sticking to their core survived, and those utilizing new technologies have a bright future in the world’s largest swine, aqua and feed-producing country. To put a spotlight on 20 years of business in China, Alltech, Inc. held a celebratory summit in Beijing last week. The event showcased the company’s successes in the feed and food industry and updated the 700-plus attendees on modern practices used in... View Blog Post »

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To HSUS: Your members should be furious

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This past Wednesday was a great day for pork producers, as a U.S. District Court judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The lawsuit was in regard to the sale of the “Pork, The Other White Meat” trademark from the National Pork Producers Council to the National Pork Board. In its petition, HSUS lawyers accused the Pork Board and NPPC of “evading federal restrictions against the use of pork checkoff dollars for purposes of influencing legislation and government policy.” It was interesting to read the words HSUS lawyers used in their petition, since... View Blog Post »

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“Full Traceable Guaranteed”

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Those are the words that appeared at the top of the menu at the MillStone Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland this evening. It’s obvious that sourcing of ingredients is an important component is this country, which is about the size of Nebraska. Food is considerably more expensive in Dublin compared to Des Moines, but probably not much different from Chicago or New York. It’s beautifully presented (see photo) and delicious. I ordered the Pan-fried Medallions of Saddleback Irish Pork Loin, stuffed with Tournafulla black pudding, served with colcannon mash (a mixture of potatoes and cabbage), horseradish cream and apple cider jus. Just reading... View Blog Post »

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The vegetarian’s dilemma: trouble “walking the talk”

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Lots of people are guilty of saying one thing and doing something else. They’re “going to exercise,” “eat less fast food,” “stop talking on their phone while driving,” etc. However, they probably didn’t proclaim to the world that they adhere to a certain lifestyle while regularly (and secretively) veering from it. A recent article in Business Insider reported on the results of a CNN survey, in which 10,000 Americans were asked about their eating habits. Approximately 6 percent of the respondents identified themselves as vegetarians, however when researchers asked them to describe their eating habits, 60 percent of the so-called vegetarians... View Blog Post »

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PEDV – Collaborative effort will help us find answers

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The hot topic at World Pork Expo this year is Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), a virus that was first identified in a 2400-sow unit on May 29. So far, we haven’t heard any concrete numbers on death loss, but we do know 103 sites are confirmed to have the virus, as of today. The breakout by state is as follows: Colorado – 7; Illinois – 2; Michigan – 1; Missouri – 2; Iowa – 62; Indiana – 7; Minnesota – 15; Nebraska – 1; Ohio – 4; Oklahoma – 1; and South Dakota – 1. According to Dr. Greg Stevenson,... View Blog Post »

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JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh | JoAnn Alumbaugh grew up on a diversified farm in Michigan, and has been involved in many different facets of the industry. She joined PorkNetwork as Editor and Brand Champion on January 2013 and is anxious to engage in conversation with producers, educators, consultants and agri-business personnel.


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