Slaughter capacity and exports

Weather in our region of the US continues to be cool and wet. I just reviewed the on-line data from the University of Minnesota Southern Outreach and Research Center at Waseca and rainfall since May 1 is above normal. Thanks to a warm June and early July growing degree units are still slightly above normal in spite of temperatures averaging as much as 5 degree below normal the past few weeks. At least in this region corn and soybeans look great. Read More...

Miracle League

As many readers of this blog know, I retired as a Professor of Animal Science and Extension Swine Specialist from the University of Nebraska 11 years ago. We relocated to North Mankato, Mn in order to access the social services and life time care agencies in this community for our youngest daughter who was born with a major birth defect. Read More...

Slaughter weight thoughts

Much has been written about the new slaughter plants in Iowa and Michigan that are expected to begin slaughtering pigs within 1-2 months. Of concern to producers is the large increase in the kept for market inventory in the June 1 USDA report associated with the start of these plants. Any mis-step in the start-up chain of events will push a lot of pigs to current slaughter locations which has the potential to rapidly drive prices down. Read More...

What about space per pig?

There is renewed interest regarding the impact of space per pig on both pig performance and the financials associated with this performance. More than 25 years ago Dr Tim Powell and I published a paper examining the economics of space allocation in confinement facilities. Based on the data available at the time, we concluded while individual pig performance (daily gain and feed intake) declines as space per pig is decreased, the economic return to an overall facility increases. This was primarily due to the fact that the reductions in daily gain and feed intake did not result in a worsening of feed conversion. Read More...

Labor needs in production units

The 4th of July holiday is tomorrow. Many readers of this blog in the United States are taking today as a vacation day so market activities will be diminished somewhat. At the same time, life in production units continues as pigs don’t take holidays. Opponents of livestock production often fail to understand the dedication of those involved in the daily care of animals. When it is +90F outside and a national holiday, someone is still on-site doing all of the little things to assure animal comfort and welfare. Read More...