Risk Management

Record productivity puts more pork on the market

Pork producers have shown time and again that they don’t need more sows to send more hogs to market. The March Hogs and Pigs report showed a December-February pig crop at 28.7 million head, that’s up 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Producers averaged a record high 9.97 pigs per litter. FULL STORY »

Hog price outlook softens

USDA’s March Hogs and Pigs Report numbers came in near trade expectations, so market reaction on Monday is likely to be ho-hum. Even though production numbers showed little growth, up 2 percent from 2011 levels, long-term, price expectations have softened. FULL STORY »

Hogs & Pigs Report expected to reflect cautious growth

“The breeding hog inventory could even decline if margins don’t improve soon, ” says Rich Pottorff, Doane Ag Services’ chief economist, regarding 2012 pork production. FULL STORY »

Pork in cold storage ready for export

“In recent years there has been a positive correlation between frozen pork and pork exports,” says Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economist. He points out that the higher pork stock numbers are an indication of pork being accumulated for export. FULL STORY »

Help to maximize your swine closeouts

On April 4, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach will conduct a workshop on the latest version of the Group Tracker, a Microsoft Excel®-based program that compiles production data into summary reports to better define your swine business and production parameters. FULL STORY »

Weekly pork producer and packer margins slip further

Pork producer margins declined $0.49 per head last week, due to higher feed costs, but farrow-to-finish margins remain solidly profitable. Pork packer margins declined $2.41 per head, resulting in losses of more than $9 per head, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. FULL STORY »

Sustainability metrics too tight for every farm

The measurement of sustainability from one farm to the next farm seems almost impossible based on a single set of metrics or a tightly written definition. FULL STORY »

Non-ag factors influencing farmland values

High crop and livestock prices certainly support the upswing in farm and ranch land values, but a new USDA report outlines some of the other forces at work. The report, titled “Trends in U.S farmland value and ownership,” notes that farm real estate accounts for a large share of total farm assets – 84 percent in 2009 – and the value of that real estate is subject to a range of economic factors. FULL STORY »

Senate farm bill hearing focuses on risks

Senate Agriculture Committee held farm bill hearings last week, marking its fourth in a series. This one focused on “Risk Management and Commodities in the 2012 Farm Bill,” specifically the discussion centered on the need for and cost effectiveness of risk-management tools for farmers and the federal government's potential role. FULL STORY »

USDA Supply-Demand report not as bullish as expected

USDA held the rudder steady on the March Supply and Demand Estimates, leaving U.S. corn and soybean numbers unchanged, but tightened the average price of corn, while raising estimated soybean prices. FULL STORY »

Pork producer and packer margins slip

Pork producer margins declined 41 cents per head last week, but farrow-to-finish margins remain solidly profitable, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. Packer margins declined 22 cents per head. FULL STORY »

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