While not a record, there are a lot of pigs on US farms

Last Friday’s USDA Hogs and Pigs report caught many by surprise with both the magnitude of corrections to previous reports and the size of the current inventory. US producers reported a December 1, 2016 inventory of 65,410,000 pigs. This is the largest on-farm December 1 inventory since 1979 when producers reported an inventory of 67,318,400 pigs. On December 1, 1970, USDA reported an inventory 67,433,000 pigs. Prior to that you have to go back to the war years of 1943-44 to have on farm inventories this large. Read More...

Has producer market behavior changed?

So far this fall, we’ve been able to remain current in our slaughter of pigs. Based on carcass weights as reported in the daily mandatory report (LM_HG201) it appears that producers have been very aggressive in pulling pigs forward, rather than facing a possible packer capacity issue. Obviously, it also helps that the consumers are consuming our production as witnessed by the lack of increase in frozen stocks. Read More...

Soffits and winter ventilation

As I write this week’s blog, snow is just beginning to fall in the Manakto, MN area, the first snow of the year. Schools west of here have been closing and they are advising no travel in southwest Minnesota due to the combination of snow and high wind. Of course, in spite of warnings all week, many are not prepared for this and there will be many reports of accidents and comments about drivers, etc. Read More...

Slaughter weights for producer sold barrows and gilts

This week the USDA reported Iowa/Southern Minnesota barrow and gilt live weight for last week declined 0.9 lb to 280.9 lb. This was after 3 weeks of only modest weight gains per week. Looking at this data many are asking – how aggressive have producers been at pulling pigs ahead in light of the massive slaughter runs occurring this fall? Read More...