I have tracked the Iowa-Southern Minnesota live weight at slaughter for many years. My original interest was in defining the impact of summer heat as measured by the significant annual decline in sales weight for barrows and gilts that always occurs between June 1 and Sept. 1.

On average, this decline from the January sales weight has been 8.5-9.0 pounds.

At the same time, this tracking has also allowed me to follow the increase in sales weight that we’ve come to expect every fall with the arrival of new crop corn and reduced heat.

Last year in response to the significant increase in feed prices due to the drought shortened harvest the fall increase was curtailed significantly, with live weights under the 2011 weights all fall.

That is not the case this year. Live weights are soaring. Weights for the week ending Nov. 9 were 6.3 pounds above last year and 8.2 pounds above the previous 5 year average. The weekly average last week was 280.8 pounds, the heaviest week average weight ever.

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