Spring in Minnesota

Spring doesn’t officially arrive in southern Minnesota until tomorrow evening, but signs of it are everywhere. I saw pits being pumped in Northwest Iowa this afternoon with dust being generated in the soybean stubble where they were injecting the manure. I’ve also seen cattle feedlots spreading manure and I even had a report of small grains being seeding in this area of Minnesota yesterday. Read More...

Continuing Education

When I arose at 6 am this morning the outside temperature at my house was -12F. With an office in my basement, I don’t have to go outside and ‘brave’ the cold today. However, all of those people responsible for daily pig care are out and about this morning making sure our pigs need are being met.  Read More...

2015 Banff Swine Seminar

Last week I was a speaker at the 44th annual Banff Swine Seminar in Banff, Alberta. Attendance was 650 people for the 2 day event with good speakers and hallway interactions. About 40% of the audience was pork producers with the remainder being those of us active in servicing this industry in a variety of ways. While there were only a few US producers attending, there were quite a few technical service people in the audience.  Read More...

What about slaughter weights in 2015?

We’re 2 weeks into 2015 and slaughter weights are still much heavier than last year. So far this year barrow and gilt carcass weights are running about 2-3 lb heavier that the same day last year. Iowa-SMN live weights year to year also reflect much heavier pigs to date this year. While I haven’t compiled the data as yet, it is a safe bet that slaughter weights in 2014 versus 2013 had the largest 1 year increase since the 1970’s. Read More...

Construction Costs This Year

With less capital tied up in margin calls this year than last year and following a year of overall profit, many producers are reinvesting in production facilities. The USDA December Hogs and Pigs report documented that we’re growing the US breeding herd. Missouri showed the largest year over year increase with 55,000 more animals in the breeding herd in 2014 than in 2013. Read More...

Facilty repair decisions

This morning it was -12F with the weatherman saying cold will be with us all week. I’m sure the production facilities in this region have ice forming on ceiling inlets, entry points, etc. In many cases there is ice and/or moisture condensation on sidewalls and ceilings at points where the insulation has been damaged by water leaks, rodent infestations or wind movement. Read More...