Feeder pig prices

The demand for good quality weaned pigs and feeder pigs is heating up several weeks earlier this year than compared to historic records. In the past 10 years (2003-2012), weaned pig prices as reported by USDA (http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/NW_LS255.txt) bottomed during week 33 of the year (mid-August). The peak spot market price occurred in January to early February. Read More...

Summer Heat has Arrived

Summer heat arrived this weekend in the upper Midwest. Relatively high dew point temperatures (67F dew point at 8:30 am as I write this) mean pigs are having trouble dissipating heat. I continue to walk wean-finish and grow-finish sites that have either no water system installed or incorrectly installed or programmed mister systems. Read More...

Who are the big retailers in the US?

The National Retail Federation just released its ranking of the top 100 retailers in the US for 2013. Not surprising – Wal-Mart was the largest by a wide margin. In 2012 Wal-Mart had US sales totaling $328.7 billion dollars. Worldwide sales for this retail giant were $467.9 billion. The article with the ranking did not break out grocery sales versus all other sales. Wal-Mart sales totals include Sam’s Club sales totals. Read More...

Is there an advantage to wean-finish facilities?

Dr Tom Gillespie, a swine veterinarian from Rensselaer, Indiana replied to my blog on Crop Progress and Hog Barns from earlier this summer. He asked that I comment on the possible differences in performance between wean-finish barns and nursery moved to finisher combinations of facilities. In his reply he stated that one production system claims a 4% advantage to nursery moved to finisher vs. wean-to finish.  Read More...

PED virus and biosecurity

By now most readers of this blog, at least in the US, have read about the spread of PED virus in the Midwest swine industry. On Wednesday at a meeting of veterinarians and producers at World Pork Expo it was announced that there have been 103 confirmed infections in the past month with the number expected to grow rapidly. Read More...

Crop progress and pig barns

This week is the 25th World Pork Expo in Des Moines. I look forward to visiting with many of you at this event. If the rains hold off I expect many of you with plans to attend will change those plans and be spending time trying to catch up on corn and soybean planting. In this region I did see a planter operating on Friday afternoon so there is hope yet that we will get this years crop in the ground. Read More...