Culling expands as feed costs cut hog margins

Criteria for herd culling may need to be expanded to new levels as record-level feed prices cut into pork producer margins. Facing $8 per bushel corn and soybean meal around $550 per ton, one Iowa producer scrutinizes his stock more closely and doesn’t keep problem pigs around that won’t make it to his primary market. FULL STORY »

Prairie Swine Centre releases annual research report

The Prairie Swine Centre, located near Saskatoon, has just released the 2011 edition of the Annual Research Report which provides insight into a wide range of industry challenges and opportunities. FULL STORY »

USDA issues final rule on wholesale pork reporting

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the final rule implementing mandatory wholesale pork price reporting, The rule outlines what information packers will be required to submit to AMS, how the information should be submitted and other requirements. FULL STORY »

Ethanol plant closures cause DDGS supply issues

Plant closures, along with reduced production at many plants, have reduced the supply of distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product of ethanol production widely-used in swine diets. FULL STORY »

Profit tracker: Producer margins continue eroding

For the week ending Aug. 10, pork producer profit margins fell nearly $8 per head from the prior week. The continued erosion in margins follows record-high feed prices resulting from the 2012 drought. Packer margins meanwhile have turned positive, though barely, FULL STORY »

Commentary: Opening a window to your world

The drought has made it tough to find a bright spot in agriculture this summer. But find one I did, this week as I traveled to see the beginnings of Legacy Farms and the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure Center. FULL STORY »

Hog Outlook: Corn, soybeans at record highs

Hog prices declined again last week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on Friday morning report was $87.37 per hundredweight, down $1.09 from the previous Friday. Retail pork prices in June declined for the fourth consecutive month. FULL STORY »

Codex moves ahead with ractopamine standards

At the Codex meeting, taking place this week iin Rome, participating member countries expressed their views on the safety of ractopamine. On Thursday, the member countries voted in favor of the adoption of standards for Maximum Residue Levels for ractopamine. According to NCBA Chief Veterinarian Kathy Simmons, this is a victory for U.S. cattlemen and women. FULL STORY »

United States hog inventory up 1 percent

In the quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report, USDA indicates that the U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2012 was 65.8 million head. That's up 1 percent from June 1, 2011, and up 1 percent from March 1, 2012. FULL STORY »

Minnesota Nutrition Conference, Sept. 18-19

The 73rd Minnesota Nutrition Conference will provide a forum for feed industry professionals to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine and equine nutrition. Speakers will share the latest concepts in livestock feeding. FULL STORY »

Economist expects producer losses for rest of 2012

Near record-high feed prices and higher hog slaughter levels have nearly eliminated the profit opportunity for pork producers for rest of 2012, according to Chris Hurt, Purdue University agricultural economist. "The spring rally in hog prices just did not show up." FULL STORY »

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