August versus October Futures Pricing

Every year about this time I begin commenting on preparations for summer heat relief in grow-finish facilities. Today it is a little tougher to think about summer when parts of Minnesota had up to 20 inches of snow in the past 2 days and our local soil temperatures at the 4-6” depth are averaging in the low 40’s at best. Soil temperatures this morning at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca were running about 38F and the Southwest Research and Outreach Center at Lamberton is reporting frost from 18-52” yet under bare ground. Read More...

ARe you putting a new roof on your finisher this summer?

With profits returning to the hog industry, producers with older facilities are making plans for repairs this coming summer season. I’ve talked with a number of producers this past week who have older curtain sided finishing barns who are planning on replacing the roof steel on the south side due to corrosion issues, especially on the SW quadrant of the facility. Read More...

Why not livestock revenue insurance?

Many readers of this blog are not involved in the daily sales and pricing activities of the US pork industry. While they are aware of reports of very high prices, I thought I would put the recent market in perspective. The data is from the USDA mandatory price report for the prior day slaughter of federally inspected barrows and gilts (LM_HG201). Read More...

So you’re building a new barn

While the number of pigs in barns and marketed this summer will be reduced because of PEDv, this hasn’t stopped the construction industry. There are still going to be quite a few new wean-finish and grow-finish facilities constructed in the Midwest this summer and final decisions are being made about a large number of these barns in the coming weeks as spring thaw finally reaches our region. Read More...

Water Use in Grow-Fin Facilities

In Kansas, Seaboard Farms has received state regulatory approval to expand the number of pigs at the grow-finish sites. Included in the approval was notification that Seaboard had purchased irrigation water rights to furnish the water needs of the pigs associated with the expansion. Several neighbors were quoted as having concerns that the increase in pig inventories would result in their water wells running dry, etc. Read More...

WOW is the only word to describe it

I missed last weeks blog due to a family emergency. Since writing 2 weeks ago the whole dynamics of the US industry has changed. June hogs closed above $1.20 today on the Chicago Mercantile. The average price paid yesterday (including carcass merit premiums) for all barrows and gilts slaughtered in the US as reported by USDA was $100.41/cwt. With an average barrow and gilt carcass weight of 214.18 lb, this translates into $215.06 price paid for every pig slaughtered yesterday (383,765 barrows and gilts under USDA inspection).  Read More...

Winter and the latest HSUS video

I’m writing this weeks blog from the McDonald’s in Worthington. I was a speaker at the Nebraska Pork Producer annual meeting yesterday and the latest snow storm is preventing me from completing my journey home. Highways in southern Minnesota are closed once again and deliveries of market pigs and movements of weaned pigs are disrupted. The winter weather in the upper Midwest has made it tough for the market watchers among us to get a really good handle on the supply of pigs coming to market. Was the USDA correct or did they over/under count on the December 1 inventory? Read More...