Are we killing the golden goose with expansion?

As Kent Bang from AgStar stated in a recent blog, we live in a dynamic time for the pork industry. Producers have strong equity, there are several new slaughter plants under construction and the world wants our product. The only snag in this scenario at the moment is the sudden increase in feed grain prices due to the weather in South America and the market’s fear of a drier summer due to La Nina. Read More...

Animal Agriculture and Greenhouse Gases – Good News

As producers of high quality protein for the world’s population, we often get challenged that our ‘system’ of production exploits limited resources and contributes to global warming. For most of us, finding or even having a basic understanding of the facts to participate in this discussion in a knowledgeable manner can be frustrating or at least very time consuming. Read More...

pounds per square foot per crate per year?

In 1988 while driving to a swine records meeting at Swine Graphics (a then start-up record company), Dr Ron Brodersen and I got into a long discussion in my pickup of space utilization in production facilities. At that time we estimated that a good ‘metric’ for space utilization in grow-finish barns was 78 lb of gain per square foot of pen space per year. Read More...

Slaughter weight thoughts

By now the ‘trade’ has digested the hogs and pigs report and given the response by the futures market, they apparently feel pig numbers will be manageable yet this fall. Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t have big weeks, just less likely to have to run on Sundays a few times to kill all of the animals coming to market. I did receive a comment from one industry contact who suggested that the decrease in sow numbers in Iowa may have been due to accounting. That is, Christensen Farms sale of their sows around Iowa Falls was accounted for by CF when they did their March 1 inventory but the sows didn’t show up on Seaboards March 1 inventory. This would have shifted Iowa sow numbers about 50,000 or so. Read More...

Thoughts on Fall Markets and Pig Supplies

This past week I attended the Midwestern Section of the American Society of Animal Science annual meeting in Des Moines. This meeting has become the location for graduate students and faculty from around the US to present their latest swine nutrition research results. It also is a great place to meet and greet a large number of the pork industries allied industry members. Read More...