Hog slaughter surges to year’s highest level

High feed prices brought on by the 2012 drought have pushed hog slaughter to its highest level so far this year as U.S. pork producers search for ways to reduce their skyrocketing feed bills. Pork producers are looking at a loss of between $20 to $30 per head for the next six months, according to an industry analyst. FULL STORY »

Profit Tracker: Producer margins drop, packers gain

Further erosion of market hog prices dropped pork producer margins by more than $10 per head on the week ending Aug. 24. Meanwhile, packers gained ground. FULL STORY »

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 »

Hog prices decline on increased slaughter, pork supply

Hog slaughter totaled 8.57 million head for July, up 5 percent from July 2011, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Livestock Slaughter report released Friday. Pork production for July totaled 1.72 billion pounds. FULL STORY »

Campbell Soup commits to a gestation-stall ban

The Campbell Soup Company, which includes Pepperidge Farms, is now on the list of companies that want their pork suppliers to end the use of gestation-sow stalls. It has set a final deadline of 2022, but hopes to have a gestation-stall-free pork supply by 2017. 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 »

ARAMARK sets 2017 deadline for gestation stalls

The Philadelphia-based ARAMARK joins other foodservice companies in the movement to eliminate gestation-sow stalls from its U.S. pork supply channels. The company made the announcement through a news release from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). FULL STORY »

Calif. slaughterhouse suspended amid animal-abuse investigation

Federal regulators suspended operations at a central California slaughterhouse on Monday following the release of graphic undercover video from an animal-rights group. The video, filmed by Compassion Over Killing, allegedly showed dairy cows being repeatedly shocked and shot before being slaughtered. FULL STORY »

Profit Tracker: Producer margins hold steady

A slowdown in the feed-grain price rally kept pork producer profit margins close to the previous week’s mark. Packer margins actually strengthened for the week ending Aug. 17. FULL STORY »

HSUS wants Tyson Foods to disclose gestation stall plans

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has submitted a shareholder resolution to Tyson Foods requesting that the Springdale, Ark.-based pork producer/packer “disclose to shareholders how it plans to meet the growing demand for pork produced without the use of gestation crates.” HSUS points to “poor earnings” in Tyson’s third-quarter profit report released on Aug. 6, as the reason behind the request. 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 »

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