It’s Sunday morning as I write this weeks blog from a hotel room in Denver, CO. I at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting. Next week is the Midwest Section of the American Society of Animal Scientists meeting in Des Moines. Between the 2 meetings I’ll have good chance to not only visit with a major cross section of people who work in the swine industry but also to have a look at new products and research results. I’ll also end up eating too much, something all of us tend to do at these meetings.

The big topics of discussion at both meetings will be PRRS breaks, corn prices and new barn construction, both wean-finish and new sow units. All of these are really discussions about the 2013 market year as this year’s pig crop sales are already fixed – matings done today will be sold to slaughter early next year.

Given the extreme (at least what we consider extreme) dryness in southern Minnesota and general dryness in the western cornbelt, everyone is asking about planting intentions and general crop prospects. It appears from the comments I’ve picked up here at Denver that much of central and eastern Iowa and states to the east have adequate moisture going into the new crop year. The challenged areas appear to be northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota, northeast Nebraska, Kansas, etc. This may be the year the newly released drought tolerant corn varieties get to demonstrate their capabilities.

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