Grains stocks and slaughter capacity

This week I’ve spent quite a bit of time in my office working on presentations for upcoming meetings. I’ve also been working on papers for proceedings of meetings to be held several months from now and digging into the research literature on several production topics. After several months of hectic site visits, research involvement and meetings I sometimes find it difficult to slow down enough to plan for future events with new ways of looking at old problems. Read More...

Slaughter plants as food processing companies

As people involved in the business of pork production, we tend to think of our slaughter plants as the final destination for our production. In fact, the slaughter plants don’t view themselves as pork processors. Rather, they are increasing viewed by upper level management and investors as food processing companies. We are just the suppliers of the raw product for their processes. Read More...

Tough times in Canada

While I missed writing a blog last week, I did have the chance to visit with many readers of this commentary at the Leman Swine Health Conference and Minnesota Nutrition Conference. Both conferences had excellent speakers/topics. In spite of the short term angst in the industry because of grain price and availability concerns, there is optimism for many beginning next summer. Read More...

Alternative ingredients versus extending the supply of ingredients

At a meeting of the Minnesota Pork Board research committee yesterday, Dr John Goihl, a consulting swine nutritionist in Minnesota, put the problem of high feed grain prices and limited supplies in perspective. He said there are really two different scenarios that producers face in managing their nutrition programs for their swine production units in the coming year. Read More...

Right Sized Facilities in a Changing Industry

With the extremely large numbers of slaughter pigs coming to market in the past 3 weeks there has been a lot of commentary written on where these numbers of pigs are coming from. Are producers pulling pigs forward in an attempt to reduce sale weights and feed grain usage or are pig numbers really this large and USDA undercounted pigs in the last 2 pig reports? Read More...