In the coming week, USDA will be sampling the US inventory for its March 1 Hogs and Pigs report that will be released in late March. Everyone will be looking at the kept for market category as it predicts future slaughter numbers for the next 5 months or so.
This winter, there are reports of quite of bit of production loss from PRRS outbreaks in sow units. There are stories circulating in the industry of production units weaning almost no pigs for up to 4 or more weeks, with large numbers of females lost to the disease also. However, so far these are only stories and not confirmed fact. The USDA numbers should give us an indication of how damaging PRRS was to our industry. If the pigs kept for market in the 60 lb or less category is only steady or even down slightly, this would suggest a PRRS impact on our summer market – fewer pigs than expected given the breeding herd inventory and the steady increases in reproductive performance.
After a pause of a few days, the grain market is continuing its upward price race. With March, May and July corn now priced above $7/bu, the cost of gain for is at all time highs. Depending on diet specifics, some systems now have feed cost of gains that are approaching $0.40/lb of gain with mid $0.30’s being a very common number for closeouts. On the sow side, every weaned pig now has $14-15 worth of sow feed invested in it.
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