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Soy and wheat futures starred for the ag markets Wednesday

Corn futures rebounded Wednesday. The USDA Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports sent corn prices tumbling Tuesday, but the market firmed overnight. Prices staged a moderate recovery this afternoon, with sentiment surging after the weekly EIA energy report stated domestic ethanol stocks at their lowest level since early January. May corn futures closed 5.5 cents higher at $3.8175/bushel Wednesday, while December moved up 6.0 to $4.0675.

Markets

Pork Signals: 2015 starts with a down market

Editor's note: The following article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of PORK Network.

Hog prices were at record highs in 2014 largely because hog slaughter was down 4.6 percent, their lowest level since 2006. The big drop in slaughter was mostly due to increased death loss caused by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).

The decline in hog slaughter began in April of 2014 and lasted through December.

News

Smithfield gift supports Virginia Tech research targeting swine health

A $1.4 million gift from Smithfield Foods Inc. will support antibiotic alternatives studies in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine that will investigate methods to enhance animal well-being and production efficiency in swine-rearing operations.

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Tailoring sow’s diet to nutritional needs may lead to healthier piglets

Fulfilling a sow's increased nutritional needs in the last trimester may lead to greater productivity for both the mother and her piglets, according to assistant professor Crystal Levesque of the animal science department.

In 2012, the National Research Council developed nutritional models for gestating and lactating sows, but Levesque said, "those models are based on very little data."

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