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...

Exports are more than loins, bacon and hams

The wild gyrations in both the grain and livestock futures markets this week serve as a very good reminder that US agriculture is not an isolated production system. With talk of a possible collapse of the Russian ruble and the delay in export certificates for Russian wheat, the US was suddenly looked to as the desired trade partner by many purchasers of bulk feed grains. Read More...

Expansion is ramping up rapidly

Is expansion finally happening in the swine industry? In the past few weeks I’ve talked with a lot of gilt suppliers, builders and equipment suppliers and I think the answer is a resounding – YES. Many gilt suppliers are telling me of very strong sales with many of the gilts destined for new breeding site projects. There are many new breed-wean units currently under construction (generally 2500-5000+ plus in size) and permit hearings on-going for new units to be constructed beginning next spring. Read More...