This years pig and corn crop

While much has been written about the progress of this year’s corn crop, I can attest that I saw a field of corn tasseling in southern Minnesota on July 4, with many more just at the edge of shooting a tassel. Yes, many fields are yellow from too much water, but you’ve got to believe in a good crop when it’s raining on corn that is tasseling a good 2 weeks ahead of ‘normal’. In addition, no 90 F temperatures in the forecast for our area.

Speaking of corn, this past week I came across the revised website for the Renewable Fuels Association. Of interest on the site is the section devoted to statistics from the industry ( For those of us that use DDGS in swine diets (just about everyone in the swine industry), they compute the amount of DDGS produced weekly – a relatively good look at the supply side of the equation for this product. For the 4 weeks that ended on June 4, 11, 18 and 25, total production of distillers grains (metric tons – 2200 lb) was 83,603, 83603, 84,300 and 82,907.

It is worth noting that the RFA estimates that 20% of the dry mill plants are extracting corn oil from the product after fermentation. This highlights the fact that all distillers grains are not equal. The biggest factors impacting quality of distillers grains with solubles for swine diets are 1) oil extraction 2)amount of solubles added back and 3) drying temperature.

According to this website, the ethanol industry is using 12.6-12.8 million bu of corn weekly to produce approximately 35 million gallons of ethanol daily.

Last week I promised comments on the Hogs and Pigs report. The biggest news (in addition to no rebuilding of the sow herd evident in the data) was the continued improvement in productivity in the farrowing house. Since 2002, pigs weaned per litter has been increasing at the rate of 0.01 pigs/month. However, for the past 2 years, the average has been well above the trend line – closer to 0.02 pigs/month increase. My entire commentary and associated graphs is available at:

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